The association of temporomandibular disorder pain with history of head and neck injury in adolescents

Dena J Fischer, Beth A Mueller, Cathy W Critchlow, Linda LeResche
Journal of Orofacial Pain 2006, 20 (3): 191-8

AIMS: To evaluate the risk of self-reported temporomandibular disorder (TMD) pain among adolescents in relation to previous head and/or neck injury.

METHODS: 3,101 enrollees (11 to 17 years of age) of a nonprofit integrated health-care system were interviewed by telephone. Two hundred four cases with self-reported TMD pain and 194 controls without self-reported TMD pain frequency-matched to the cases by age and gender completed standardized in-person interviews and physical examinations in which reports of previous head/neck injuries were recorded. Odds ratio (OR) estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of the relative risks of TMD pain associated with prior head and/or neck injuries were calculated using logistic regression.

RESULTS: A greater proportion of subjects reporting TMD pain (36%) than controls (25%) had a history of head and/or neck injuries (OR = 1.8, 95% CI, 1.1-2.8). In a separate analysis, the presence of TMD based upon the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders (RDC/TMD) was assessed in relation to prior head and/or neck injury. Cases reporting TMD pain and meeting the RDC/TMD criteria for myofascial pain and/or arthralgia or arthritis were 2.0 (CI, 1.0-3.8) times more likely to have had a prior head injury than were controls with neither self-reported nor RDC/TMD pain diagnoses.

CONCLUSION: The results suggest a modest association of prior head injuries with both self-reported and clinically diagnosed TMD pain in adolescents.

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