Association of psychological distress and widespread pain with sympatoms of temporomandibular disorders and self-reported bruxism in students

Clin Exp Dent Res. 2021 Jul 20. doi: 10.1002/cre2.472. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of psychosocial distress and widespread pain with self-reported symptoms of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and bruxism, in two cross-sectional surveys in 2012 and 2016, and whether there are temporal changes in the magnitude of associations.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The data were gathered from Finnish university students in 2012 and 2016. TMD symptoms were assessed with three validated questions and bruxism with one frequently used question. Psychosocial distress was assessed with the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12), and widespread pain with questions of pain in the extremities, the neck or upper back, and lower back. The associations of GHQ-12, widespread pain and background variables with TMD symptoms and bruxism were analyzed with chi-square tests, t-test and binary logistic regression models stratified by gender, and adjusted for age-group, self-reported general health/wellbeing and presence of widespread pain.

RESULTS: Higher GHQ-12 score and presence of widespread pain were significantly associated with TMD symptoms in both genders at both time points. The association of higher GHQ-12 score with sleep bruxism and awake bruxism were inconsistent. In the adjusted model higher GHQ-12 score and widespread pain were significantly related to TMD pain symptoms in both genders at both time points, and to bruxism in 2012. Between the two time points a greater variability in these associations was seen in men than in women.

CONCLUSIONS: Psychological distress and widespread pain are significant determinants in perceived TMD pain and bruxism among students. No significant temporal alterations were observed.

PMID:34289266 | DOI:10.1002/cre2.472

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