Cranio 2000 Jul; 18(3): 205-19
This comparative study by groups assesses the profiles of TMD (temporomandibular dysfunction) and bruxism patients and TMD-nonbruxing patients regarding chief complaint, previous medical and dental consultations, duration of the chief complaint, previous medication, and use of splints. The sample consisted of a group of 340 TMD patients, 275 of whom were bruxers and 65 who were nonbruxers. Both patients and controls were consecutive referrals over a period of five years. The group of TMD and Bruxer was classified according to the degree of severity. One hundred eight (108), 84, and 83 patients demonstrated mild, moderate, and severe bruxism respectively. Information gathered included a set of questionnaires, history of signs and symptoms, and a clinical examination. The most common chief complaints in TMD bruxers and nonbruxers were facial, temporomandibular joint, headache and / or cervical pain, and joint noises. It was observed that the need for medical and dental consultations increased with the severity of bruxism. It was also apparent in this study that the need for medication (analgesics, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants), increased with the severity of bruxism. Moderate and severe subgroups of bruxers used significantly more splints compared to mild bruxers and to TMD-nonbruxer patients. Both groups of TMD + bruxism and TMD – nonbruxism sought medical and dental consultations with dentists (clinicians and specialists) neurologists, and otolaryngologists more frequently compared to other medical professionals. Since the need for health services increased with the severity of bruxism, this study urges the need to include a protocol or questionnaire to assess the severity of bruxing behavior in TMD patients in order to use a customized method of treatment/management. This study also reinforces the point of view that different subgroups of TMD and bruxism do exist and suggests a differentiated therapeutic approach. They show previously confirmed findings that pain is the major complaint of TMD and bruxer patients.