TMD Resulting From Trauma vs Non-Trauma-A Large Scale Research Study

Steed PA, Wexler, GB, Temporomandibular Disorders-Traumatic Etiology vs. Nontraumatic Etiology: A Clinical and Methodological Inquiry into Symptomatology and Treatment Outcomes

Jour of Craniomandib Practice, (19)3: 188-194, 2001


The purpose of this research is to investigate the distinctions relating to Presenting Symptoms and Treatment Outcomes between patients suffering temporomandibular disorder (TMD) as a result of traumatic versus nontraumatic etiology. A geographically diverse cohort of 1,842 patients diagnosed with TMD was investigated with special emphasis placed on the following criteria: 1. The distribution of demographic and symptom characteristics of patients with trauma as an immediate precipitating factor versus those with other nontraumatic etiologies; 2. The relationship between nontrauma status and treatment outcomes; 3. The interrelationships between nontrauma status, psychosocial factors, and treatment outcomes. Trauma patients tended to be younger, less educated, and more likely to be male than the nontrauma patients. For this group the reported length of the TMD problem was, as expected, of shorter duration when compared to the nontrauma patient group. Length of treatment did not differ between the two groups. In comparison, trauma patients reported higher initial overall symptoms including pain and range of motion limitations. However, symptoms related to joint dysfunction did not vary appreciably. Treatment outcomes are complicated by the fact that TMD encompasses several different diagnostic entities. Trauma patients reported significantly higher percentages of improvement in palpation pain and perceived malocclusion. No significant differences were found for pain report, joint dysfunction, stress, and overall TMD symptomatology, as measured by the TMJ Scale's Global domain. Trauma patients manifested higher psychological dysfunction levels (excepting stress) and showed significantly more improvement in both psychosocial function and stress than the nontrauma group.

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