Aims: To investigate the association of sense of coherence (SOC) with clinical findings of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) among 30- to 64-year-old subjects. Methods: A nationally representative health examination survey called the Health 2000 Survey was carried out from 2000 to 2001. The data for this study were obtained from 4,859 subjects aged 30 to 64 years who had participated in an interview, been clinically examined, and returned a self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire included a SOC scale which was a 12-item version of the SOC-13 scale. Based on a clinical examination for TMD, the following variables were formed: maximum interincisal distance < 40 mm, clicking, crepitation, pain in the temporomandibular joints (TMJs), and pain in the masticatory muscles. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using logistic regression models. Results: Subjects with low SOC had higher odds to have distinct TMD findings, especially masticatory muscle pain, than those with high SOC. After adjustment for confounders, those with low SOC had more than twofold odds to have masticatory muscle pain (in at least one painful site) compared to those with high SOC (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.4–3.6). Low SOC was also associated with TMJ pain on palpation (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.5–6.6). Conclusion: Low SOC associates with myogenous TMD findings. SOC as a psychosocial aspect has a role in the background of TMD. J OROFAC PAIN 2009;23:147–152.
Key words: masticatory muscle pain, psychosocial, sense of coherence, temporomandibular disorders