Development of temporomandibular disorders is associated with greater bodily pain experience

Clin J Pain. 2010 Feb;26(2):116-20. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e3181c507ef.


Objectives: The aim of this study is to examine the difference in the report of bodily pain experienced by patients who develop temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and by those who do not develop TMD over a 3-year observation period.

Methods: This is a 3-year prospective study of 266 females aged 18 to 34 years initially free of TMD pain. All patients completed the Symptom Report Questionnaire (SRQ) at baseline and yearly intervals, and at the time they developed TMD (if applicable). The SRQ is a self-report instrument evaluating the extent and location of pain experienced in the earlier 6 months. Statistical analysis was carried out using repeated measures ANOVA.

Results: Over the 3-year period, 16 patients developed TMD based on the Research Diagnostic Criteria for TMD. Participants who developed TMD reported more headaches (P=0.0089), muscle soreness or pain (P=0.005), joint soreness or pain (P=0.0012), back pain (P=0.0001), chest pain (P=0.0004), abdominal pain (P=0.0021), and menstrual pain (P=0.0036) than Participants who did not develop TMD at both the baseline and final visits. Participants who developed TMD also reported significantly more headache (P=0.0006), muscle soreness or pain (P=0.0059), and other pains (P=0.0188) when they were diagnosed with TMD compared with the baseline visit.

Discussion: The development of TMD was accompanied by increases in headaches, muscle soreness or pain, and other pains that were not observed in the Participants who did not develop TMD. Participants who developed TMD also report higher experience of joint, back, chest, and menstrual pain at baseline.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Pain / classification
  • Pain / complications*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / complications*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / psychology
  • Young Adult