Aims: To compare the prevalence of psychologic, dental, and temporomandibular disorder (TMD) signs and symptoms between young women suffering from chronic eating disorders (ED) and a control group of age-matched, healthy women, and to evaluate the impact of frequent vomiting on these signs and symptoms among the ED group. Methods: Clinical examination and self-administered questionnaires were used to evaluate psychologic, dental, and TMD signs and symptoms among 79 women hospitalized because of chronic ED and 48 age-matched healthy women (as controls). ED patients were further analyzed according to their habit of daily vomiting (43 vomiting versus 36 nonvomiting patients). Pearson chi-square and analysis of variance were used to analyze categorical differences between study groups. Results: Women with ED showed a significantly higher sensitivity to muscle palpation (P < .001) and higher levels of depression, somatization, and anxiety (P < .001), as well as a higher prevalence of intensive gum chewing (P < .001), dental erosions (P < .001), and attrition (P < .001), than the healthy controls. Vomiting patients showed higher muscle sensitivity to palpation than nonvomiting patients (P < .001) and greater emotional and psychologic distress (P < .001). Conclusion: Women with chronic ED suffer from higher muscular sensitivity to palpation, greater emotional distress, and more hard tissue destruction (dental erosions, dental sensitivity) than healthy women. J Orofac Pain 2008;22:201–208.
Key words: anorexia nervosa, bruxism, bulimia nervosa, dental erosion, eating disorders, stress, TMD, vomiting