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Prevalence of temporomandibular disorders in Fibromyalgia and failed back syndrome patients: A blinded prospective comparison study

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[Note: Temporomandibular disorders are problems with the joint and muscles connecting the jaw to the side of the head. Failed back syndrome is a general term to describe the condition of patients who have not experienced alleviation of symptoms after spine or back surgery.]

Journal: Journal of Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontics. 2007 May 4; [E-publication ahead of print]

Authors and affiliations: Balasubramaniam R, de Leeuw R, Zhu H, Nickerson RB, Okeson JP, Carlson CR. Orofacial Pain Center, University of Kentucky.

PMID: 17482850

Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and evaluate psychosocial domains in patients with Fibromyalgia (FM) – compared with patients with failed back syndrome (FBS).

Study design: The study included 51 (32 FM and 19 FBS) adult patients who were administered orofacial pain and psychological questionnaires before a clinical examination. Presence of TMD was diagnosed according to the Research Diagnostic Criteria for TMD.

Results:

Fifty-three percent of the FM patients reported having face pain compared with 11% of the FBS patients.

Of those FM patients who reported face pain, 71% fulfilled the criteria for a diagnosable TMD.

FM patients had significantly higher subscale scores for somatization, obsessive-compulsive, medication used for sleep, and fatigue compared with FBS patients.

Eighty-seven percent of the FM patients reported a stressful event and 42.3% had symptoms indicating posttraumatic stress disorder.

Conclusion: The high prevalence of TMD and psychosocial dysfunction among FM patients suggests wide-reaching dysregulation of autonomic and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functions.

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