Prevalence of psychologic, dental, and temporomandibular signs and symptoms among chronic eating disorders patients: a comparative control study

J Orofac Pain. 2008 Summer;22(3):201-8.


Aims: To compare the prevalence of psychologic, dental, and temporomandibular disorder (TMD) signs and symptoms between young women suffering from chronic eating disorders (ED) and a control group of age-matched, healthy women, and to evaluate the impact of frequent vomiting on these signs and symptoms among the ED group.

Methods: Clinical examination and self-administered questionnaires were used to evaluate psychologic, dental, and TMD signs and symptoms among 79 women hospitalized because of chronic ED and 48 age-matched healthy women (as controls). ED patients were further analyzed according to their habit of daily vomiting (43 vomiting versus 36 nonvomiting patients). Pearson chi-square and analysis of variance were used to analyze categorical differences between study groups.

Results: Women with ED showed a significantly higher sensitivity to muscle palpation (P < .001) and higher levels of depression, somatization, and anxiety (P < .001), as well as a higher prevalence of intensive gum chewing (P < .001), dental erosions (P < .001), and attrition (P < .001), than the healthy controls. Vomiting patients showed higher muscle sensitivity to palpation than nonvomiting patients (P < .001) and greater emotional and psychologic distress (P < .001).

Conclusion: Women with chronic ED suffer from higher muscular sensitivity to palpation, greater emotional distress, and more hard tissue destruction (dental erosions, dental sensitivity) than healthy women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / complications
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Bruxism / etiology
  • Bulimia Nervosa / complications
  • Bulimia Nervosa / psychology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chewing Gum
  • Depression / psychology
  • Facial Pain / etiology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / complications
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Masticatory Muscles / physiopathology
  • Palpation
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Sensation / physiology
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / etiology*
  • Tooth Attrition / etiology
  • Tooth Diseases / etiology*
  • Tooth Erosion / etiology
  • Vomiting / complications


  • Chewing Gum