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Odds of TMJ disorder in fibromyalgia may be as high as 1 in 3

  [ 7 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • March 28, 2012

Signs and symptoms of temporomandibular dysfunction in fibromyalgic patients – Source: Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, Mar 2012

By BP Fraga, et al.

[Note: TMJ disorder is pain of the jaw muscles and/or inflammation of the jaw joint that can cause many symptoms. This joint and the associated muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, bones, connective tissue, teeth, etc. is also susceptible to many of the conditions that affect other joints, from arthritis to trauma and dislocation.]

Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the frequency of signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorder (TMD) in fibromyalgic patients.

Methods: Sixty subjects of both sexes (mean age, 49.2 +/- 13.8 years) with fibromyalgia (FM) diagnosis were included in this study. All patients were examined by a calibrated investigator to identify the presence of TMD using the Research Diagnostic Criteria for TMD.

Results: The most common signs and symptoms reported by FM patients were:


• Pain in the masticatory muscles (masseter, 80%; posterior digastric, 76.7%),

• Pain in the temporomandibular joint (83.3%),

• And 33.3% and 28.3%, respectively, presented joint sounds when opening and closing the mouth.


• Headache (97%)

• And facial pain (81.7%).

In regard to the classic triad for the diagnosis of the TMD, it was found that 35% of the FM patients presented, at the same time, pain, joint sounds, and alteration of the mandibular movements.

It was verified that myofascial pain without limitation of mouth opening was the most prevalent diagnosis (47%) for the Research Diagnostic Criteria subgroup I.

For the subgroup II, the disk displacement with reduction was the most prevalent diagnosis (21.6%).

For the subgroup III, 36.7% of the subjects presented osteoarthritis.

Conclusions: Thus, there is a high prevalence of signs and symptoms of TMD in FM patients, indicating the need for an integrated diagnosis and treatment of these patients, which suggest that the FM could be a medium- or long-term risk factor for the development of TMD.

Source: Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, Mar 2012;23(2):615-8. PMID:22446432, by Fraga BP, Santos EB, Farias Neto JP, Macieira JC, Quintans LJ Jr, Onofre AS, De Santana JM, Martins-Filho PR, Bonjardim LR. Department of Nursing, University of São Paulo, São Paulo; Departments of Health Science, Physical Therapy, Medicine, and Physiology, Federal University of Sergipe, Aracaju, Sergipe, Brazil.

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