Aims: To estimate the prevalence of self-reported symptoms associated with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and treatment-seeking in adult Chinese in Hong Kong. Methods: A telephone survey technique was used to identify 1,526 randomly selected Cantonese-speaking individuals aged 18 years or over. Standard questions were asked about joint and jaw muscle pain, jaw opening, and joint sounds. In addition, questions on tooth grinding and clenching, sleep patterns, and treatment-seeking behavior were posed. Results: Jaw pain was reported by 33% of the population. Only 5% of them had frequent pain, with two thirds of this subgroup having moderate to severe symptoms. The prevalence of frequent problems with jaw opening and joint clicking was 0.3% and 1.8%, respectively. There were no gender-related differences in the reporting of TMD symptoms or related conditions. Conclusion: One percent of the Hong Kong Chinese population had TMD-related jaw pain that was of moderate or severe intensity and occurred frequently; 0.6% of the population had sought treatment for jaw pain, impaired jaw opening, or joint clicking that occurred often in the previous year. J OROFAC PAIN 2001;15:228–234.
Key words: temporomandibular disorders, epidemiology, prevalence, jaw pain