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.