Painful temporomandibular disorders are common in patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and impact significantly upon quality of life

J Oral Facial Pain Headache. 2015 Spring;29(2):152-7. doi: 10.11607/ofph.1396.


Aims: To explore the point prevalence of painful temporomandibular disorders (TMD) in a well-characterized clinical cohort of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) sufferers and to understand the functional and physiologic impact of this comorbidity on the patient.

Methods: Patients with PoTS were retrospectively recruited from a previous study conducted in a UK hospital setting. Data had previously been collected on several parameters, including sociodemographic, physiologic, and functional. The participants were mailed a highly sensitive (99%) and specific (97%) self-report screening instrument for painful TMD. Simple descriptive statistics with Fisher Exact and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to examine the data and draw inferences from it.

Results: A total of 36 individuals responded (69% response rate). Just under half (47%) of the sample screened positive for painful TMD. There was no significant difference between the screening result for TMD or previously reported headaches or joint pain (P < .05). Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) was diagnosed by the Fukuda Criteria in 44% of the total sample and in 56% of those with painful TMD. There were no significant differences in physiologic parameters in CFS and TMD. TMD caused a significant decrease in quality of life as measured by the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System, Health Assessment Questionnaire (P < .05).

Conclusion: TMD are common in patients with PoTS. They have a significant, additional impact on patients' quality of life and should therefore be screened for at an early stage in PoTS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / complications
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / psychology
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / complications
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / psychology
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome / complications*
  • Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome / psychology
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self Report
  • Sleep Stages / physiology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / complications*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / psychology