Diagnoses based on the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders in a biracial population of young women

Octavia Plesh, Sandra E Sinisi, Patricia B Crawford, Stuart A Gansky
Journal of Orofacial Pain 2005, 19 (1): 65-75

AIMS: To compare the clinical characteristics of diagnostic subtypes of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) based on the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders (RDC/TMD) in terms of physical findings (Axis I) and psychosocial findings (Axis II) among Caucasian and African American young women. An ancillary goal was to assess the value of using self-reported TMD pain as a screening tool compared to RDC/TMD examinations.

METHODS: A biracial community sample (n = 830) of young women 19 to 23 years old was screened for facial pain with the Chronic Pain Grade questionnaire. Patients were considered to be putative cases of TMD if they reported facial pain present within the last 6 months; putative controls had no facial pain history or jaw symptoms. Women with facial pain more than 6 months ago and jaw symptoms (jaw symptom-past pain, JSPP group) were added. 129 women were clinically examined for TMD diagnosis for final confirmation of case-control status.

RESULTS: 41 of 43 Caucasian and 11 of 18 African American putative cases were confirmed as cases; 9 of 27 Caucasians, but 0 of 17 African Americans from the JSPP group were confirmed as cases. All 24 putative controls were confirmed as controls. Based on RDC/TMD Axis I, 80% of 61 cases were muscle-related diagnoses, 33% as disc-related diagnoses, and 48% as arthralgia/arthritis/arthrosis. Based on Axis I, there were no significant differences in diagnoses between African American and Caucasian women. Based on Axis II, cases had significantly greater depression (P = .002) and somatization with pain (P < .001) than controls as expected. African Americans had significantly greater somatization with pain than Caucasians (P = .020). There were no other significant racial differences.

CONCLUSION: Among young women reporting facial pain, clinical TMD subtypes, pain impact, treatment utilization, and additional characteristics other than somatization with pain were similar between races. A high percentage of these young non-clinical cases presented severe depression and somatization.

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