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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: OFPH
Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache

Edited by Barry J. Sessle, BDS, MDS, BSc, PhD, FRSC

Official Journal of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain,
the European, Asian, and Ibero-Latin Academies of Craniomandibular
Disorders, and the Australian Academy of Orofacial Pain

ISSN 2333-0384 (print) • ISSN 2333-0376 (online)

Publication:
Spring 2014
Volume 28 , Issue 2

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Effect of Experimental Tooth Clenching on the Release of 𝛃-Endorphin

Andreas Dawson, DDS, Odont Dr/Lennart Ljunggren, Dr med vet, PhD/Malin Ernberg, DDS, Med Dr/Peter Svensson, DDS, Dr Odont, PhD/Thomas List, DDS, Odont Dr

Pages: 159164
DOI: 10.11607/ofph.1210

Aims: To investigate the association between experimental tooth clenching and the release of β-endorphin in patients with myofascial temporomandibular disorders (M-TMD) and healthy subjects. Methods: Fifteen M-TMD patients and 15 healthy subjects were included and assigned an experimental tooth-clenching task. Venous blood was collected and pain intensity was noted on a visual analog scale. The masseter pressure pain threshold (PPT) was assessed 2 hours before the clenching task and immediately after. A mixed-model analysis of variance was used for statistical analyses. Results: Significant main effects for time and group were observed for pain intensity and PPT, with significantly lower mean values of pain intensity (P < .001) and PPT (P < .01) after the clenching task compared with baseline. M-TMD patients had significantly higher pain intensity (P < .001) and significantly lower PPT (P < .05) than healthy subjects. No significant time or group effects were observed for the level of β-endorphin. Neither pain intensity nor PPT correlated significantly with β-endorphin levels. Conclusion: This experimental tooth-clenching task was not associated with significant alterations in β-endorphin levels over time, but with mechanical hyperalgesia and low to moderate levels of pain in healthy subjects and M-TMD patients, respectively. More research is required to understand the role of the β-endorphinergic system in the etiology of M-TMD. J Oral Facial Pain Headache 2014;28:159164. doi: 10.11607/ofph.1210

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