Evaluation of the signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorders in children with headaches

Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2007 Jun;65(2A):251-5. doi: 10.1590/s0004-282x2007000200012.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the presence of signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) in children with headaches in a neuropediatric ambulatory.

Method: Fifty patients between 4 and 18 years of age were examined: 31 had headaches (24 migraine, 4 tension type and 3 unspecific headache) and 19 formed the control group. The data collection was comprised of a structured questionnaire answered by the children's parents, and a subjective evaluation about the childrens emotional state. A specific questionnaire for TMD was applied, followed by a clinical dental examination of the children. As signs of TMD, mouth opening limitation, mandibular trajectory deviation in opening mouth, and joint noise were considered. As symptoms, pain on palpation of masseter and temporal muscles and on the poromandibular joint.

Results: A significant increase in signs and symptoms of TMD was found in patients with headaches when compared to the control group. There was also a significant difference in signs and symptoms of TMD according to age (increased with age) and emotional state (tense>calm).

Conclusion: There is a higher frequency of TMD in pediatric patients with headaches; thus, it is important to look for TMD signs and symptoms in this population.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / physiology
  • Child Behavior / psychology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emotions*
  • Facial Pain / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Headache Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Headache Disorders / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Masticatory Muscles / physiopathology
  • Migraine Disorders / diagnosis
  • Migraine Disorders / psychology
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Factors
  • Temporomandibular Joint / physiopathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / complications
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / physiopathology
  • Tension-Type Headache / diagnosis
  • Tension-Type Headache / psychology