JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW
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Factors involved in the etiology of temporomandibular disorders - a literature review.

BACKGROUND AND AIM: This review aims at presenting a current view on the most frequent factors involved in the mechanisms causing temporomandibular disorders (TMD).

METHOD: We conducted a critical review of the literature for the period January 2000 to December 2014 to identify factors related to TMD development and persistence.

RESULTS: The etiology of TMD is multidimensional: biomechanical, neuromuscular, bio-psychosocial and biological factors may contribute to the disorder. Occlusal overloading and parafunctions (bruxism) are frequently involved as biomechanical factors; increased levels of estrogen hormones are considered biological factors affecting the temporo-mandibular-joint. Among bio-psychosocial factors, stress, anxiety or depression, were frequently encountered.

CONCLUSIONS: The etiopathogenesis of this condition is poorly understood, therefore TMDs are difficult to diagnose and manage. Early and correct identification of the possible etiologic factors will enable the appropriate treatment scheme application in order to reduce or eliminate TMDs debilitating signs and symptoms.

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