Analysis of thermal pain sensitivity and psychological profiles in different subgroups of TMD patients

Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2010 Oct;39(10):968-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2010.06.003. Epub 2010 Jul 6.


This study evaluated differences in pain sensitivities and psychological profiles among different temporomandibular disorder (TMD) pain subtypes. Evaluation was done on 36 normal subjects and 39 TMD patients with high Graded Chronic Pain scale scores. TMD patients were placed in three pain subgroups (myogenous, arthrogenous, mixed) using the Research Diagnostic Criteria for TMD (RDC/TMD) axis I guidelines. RDC/TMD axis II profiles including depression and somatization were analysed. Cold pain threshold (CPT), heat pain threshold (HPT), and heat pain tolerance threshold (HPTT) were measured on three facial regions (anterior temporalis, masseter, TMJ) and a leg region (anterior tibialis). The arthrogenous pain subgroup showed significantly higher CPT and lower HPT and HPTT in the facial region, and lower HPTT in the anterior tibialis region compared with normal and myogenous pain subgroups. The myogenous pain subgroup had significantly higher somatization scores than normal and arthrogenous pain subgroups, and higher depression scores than normal subjects. The results suggest that peripheral and/or central sensitization are present in chronic arthrogenous pain more so than in myogenous pain, and this phenomenon appears to take place regardless of the patient's psychological profiles. These results may explain the underlying mechanism that aggravates TMD pain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cold Temperature
  • Depression / psychology
  • Facial Pain / physiopathology
  • Facial Pain / psychology
  • Female
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Masseter Muscle / physiopathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain Threshold / physiology*
  • Sensory Thresholds / physiology*
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology
  • Temporal Muscle / physiopathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / classification
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / physiopathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / psychology*
  • Thermosensing / physiology*