J Ky Med Assoc 2000 05, 98: 5, 213-5
OBJECTIVES: Chronic facial pain in general and temporomandibular disorders (TMD) in particular are among the most common conditions affecting mankind. The objective of this study was to retrospectively evaluate standardized data on patients having TMD in order to seek trends and cross-correlations.
METHODS: The patients’ records were reviewed for 425 consecutive patients having TMD, examined and treated in one clinic by one dentist. Demographic information and signs and symptoms of TMD were tabulated and the features were cross-correlated to find underlying trends.
RESULTS: TMD primarily affects women, as more than 84% of those affected were female. The most common feature (found in 84% of subjects) was facial muscular pain in the vicinity of the TMJ. In 42%, this pain was bilateral. Unilateral pain was almost equally distributed on the right or left side. Headaches were reported in 78% of patients with TMD. “Popping” noises in the TMJ on opening (54%) or closing (31%) the mouth, or stiffness of the neck (33%) were the next most frequent associations.
CONCLUSIONS: The demographics for the studied population of TMD patients closely agrees with previous studies reported in the literature. This study reinforces the fact that pain associated with TMD primarily affects women.