COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Prevalence of temporomandibular pain and subsequent dental treatment in Swedish adolescents

Ing-Marie Nilsson, Thomas List, Mark Drangsholt
Journal of Orofacial Pain 2005, 19 (2): 144-50
15895837

AIMS: To assess the prevalence of temporomandibular disorder (TMD) pain in Swedish adolescents, to evaluate whether there are differences in TMD pain in regard to age, gender, and place of residence (urban or rural), and to evaluate treatment for TMD pain and compare it with documented treatment for teeth with caries.

METHODS: All youths aged 12 to 19 years in Ostergötland County were eligible to participate in the investigation, which took place at public dental clinics during annual examinations in 2000. The subjects were asked 2 questions: (1) "Do you have pain in your temples, face, jaw joint, or jaws once a week or more?" and (2) "Do you have pain when you open your mouth wide or chew once a week or more?" Two hundred dental records of patients with TMD pain and 100 records of patients with documented caries were randomly selected from the population. These records were used to compare the treatment of TMD pain to the treatment of caries.

RESULTS: Among the 28,899 youths participating, 4.2% reported TMD pain. The prevalence increased with age, and a significant difference was seen between boys (2.7%) and girls (6.0%) (P < .001). In 43% of the patients with TMD pain, the TMD condition was noted in the record. TMD-related treatment was given to 34% of patients with TMD pain in dental clinics, whereas 100% of the patients with caries received restorative treatment. The most common treatment modalities for the TMD group were occlusal splints and information about TMD.

CONCLUSION: The prevalence of self-reported TMD pain was relatively low, increased with age, and was higher among girls than boys. One third of the patients with TMD pain received some form of TMD treatment in the dental clinics.

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