Objective: The aims of this study were to assess the prevalence of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) among adolescents and to contrast the prevalence of TMD according to the DC/TMD clinical examination protocol versus the prevalence of pain related to TMD according to two screening questions.
Material and methods: Two hundred and ten adolescents living in the county of Bergen, Norway, were offered an additional examination for TMD in connection with their regular dental check-up appointment. Five dental clinics were selected with differing socio-economic patient populations, as reflected by stratification of average levels of DMFT, and an equal number of girls and boys were invited to participate. The participants answered two screening questions for pain related to TMD followed by a clinical examination according to the DC/TMD protocol by five calibrated examiners.
Results: Acceptable calibration results were obtained. Approximately 80% of eligible participants consented to partake. According to the criteria of DC/TMD, the prevalence of TMD among the study participants was 11.9%, with a peak at 16 years of age. According to the self-reported screening questions for pain related to TMD, 7.2% responded positively. Only seven participants with a TMD diagnosis established according to the DC/TMD clinical examination protocol reported also pain related to TMD based on answering the two screening questions.
Conclusion: The prevalence of TMD is higher for girls than for boys and the prevalence of TMD established according to the DC/TMD criteria was higher than the prevalence of pain related to TMD estimated by use of two screening questions for self-reported pain.
Keywords: Adolescent; DC/TMD; TMD; prevalence; temporomandibular disorders.