High risk of temporomandibular disorder in irritable bowel syndrome: Is there a correlation with greater illness severity?

World J Gastroenterol. 2017 Jan 7;23(1):103-109. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i1.103.


Aim: To investigate the prevalence and the risk of temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (including each subtype: constipation, diarrhoea, and mixed) compared to the general population.

Methods: Between January 2014 and December 2015 we enrolled consecutively adult patients diagnosed with IBS at the outpatient clinic of the University of Salerno and healthy controls (HC) without IBS. At enrollment, we analyzed all patients for the presence of TMDs according to the Research Diagnostic Criteria for TMD.

Results: We enrolled 91 IBS patients (23 IBS-D, 30 IBS-C and 38 IBS-M) and 57 HC in the study. We found a higher risk of having TMD (OR = 3.41, 95%CI: 1.66-7.01) compared to the HC. The risk of having TMD was independent of IBS-subtype. Multiple regression analysis showed that facial pain was positively related to abdominal pain and higher level of depression.

Conclusion: IBS patients had a more than three times greater risk of TMD compared to HC. The risk of having TMD was similar in different IBS subtypes. IBS patients that also fulfilled criteria for TMD seem to share along with chronic facial and abdominal pain a significant co-occurrence with psychiatric disorders and female preponderance.

Keywords: Abdominal pain; Chronic pain; Facial pain; Irritable bowel syndrome; Irritable bowel syndrome mixed; Irritable bowel syndrome predominant constipation; Irritable bowel syndrome predominant diarrhea; Irritable bowel syndrome severity score symptoms; Temporomandibular disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / complications*
  • Abdominal Pain / epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chronic Disease
  • Facial Pain / complications*
  • Facial Pain / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / complications*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / etiology