Association between sociodemographic, behavioral, and medical conditions and signs of temporomandibular disorders across gender: results of the study of health in Pomerania (SHIP-0)

Torsten Mundt, Florian Mack, Christian Schwahn, Olaf Bernhardt, Thomas Kocher, Reiner Biffar
International Journal of Prosthodontics 2008, 21 (2): 141-8

PURPOSE: To examine whether there is a gender-dependent risk profile for signs of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) in a population-based sample.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sociodemographic, behavioral, and medical factors were checked for associations with TMD in a cross-sectional study of 3,567 subjects aged 25 to 74 years in Germany. Data were collected from clinical examinations, interviews, and questionnaires. Logistic regression analyses were used to estimate factors associated with signs of TMD across gender. TMD signs included tenderness or pain on palpation of 3 or more masticatory muscles and tenderness or pain on palpation in 1 or both temporomandibular joints (TMJs).

RESULTS: In women, muscle tenderness or pain was found to be significantly associated with general arthrosis/arthritis and lower back pain. In men, muscle tenderness or pain was significantly associated with school education > 11 years, various categories of loss of occlusal support, lip/tongue/cheek biting, and general arthrosis/arthritis. In women, TMJ tenderness or pain was associated with widowed status, bruxism, general arthrosis/arthritis, lower back pain, and sex-hormone replacement. In men, TMJ tenderness or pain was associated with multiple losses of posterior supporting zones, gout, and lower back pain. In women, there were inverse associations between loss of occlusal support in 3 posterior zones and muscle and TMJ tendernes.

CONCLUSION: Except for some general health conditions and bruxism, the hypothesis of a gender-dependent risk profile for signs of TMD is partly supported. The results of this study indicate that TMD is a complex disorder associated with mixed etiologic factors between genders.


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