Current concepts on the functional somatic syndromes and temporomandibular disorders

Journal: Stomatologija. 2007;9(1):3-9.

Authors and affiliations: Fantoni F, Salvetti G, Manfredini D, Bosco M. V.le XX Settembre, Marina di Carrara (MS), Italy. [E-mail: ]

PMID: 17449972

Background. The importance of psychosocial factors in the etiopathogenesis of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) has led to the hypothesis that these disorders may be part of a wider group of somatoform disorders, the functional somatic syndromes (FSS).

Types of studies reviewed. The present paper is an overview summarizing the current concepts on the TMD-FSS relationship. A non-systematic search in the Medline database identified peer-reviewed papers on the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the complex groups of disorders labeled functional somatic syndromes, focusing on the common features to temporomandibular disorders patients.

Results. Literature data suggest that FSS and TMD share many etiopathogenetic and epidemiological features, both groups of disorders having a multifactorial etiopathogenesis and needing a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis and treatment.

Psychosocial characteristics of patients seem to have many similarities and the prevalence of Axis I [clinical] psychiatric disorders is elevated. The majority of studies focused on the relationship between TMD and Fibromyalgia (FM), due to the high rate of orofacial involvement related to FM.

Clinical implications. The presence of common features between TMD and FSS patient may suggest the need for changes in the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to TMD patients, with the introduction of treatment protocols which also address the psychosocial impairment accompanying TMD symptoms, in order to overcome the limits of traditional therapies.

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