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Volume 14 , Issue 2
Spring 2000

Pages 98-104

Absolute and Relative Facial Pressure-Pain Thresholds in Healthy Individuals

Lars Fredriksson/Per Alstergren, DDS, PhD/Sigvard Kopp, DDS, PhD

PMID: 11203752

Aims: To investigate and compare absolute pressure-pain threshold (PPT) levels and ratios between craniofacial test and reference sites during consecutive PPT recordings, as well as over a 6-month period, in healthy individuals. This study also investigated PPT differences between genders and the clinical usefulness of different reference sites in the craniofacial region. Methods: Twelve female and 12 male healthy individuals participated in the first examination. Six months later, 9 females and all of the males returned for a second examination. An electronic algometer was used to make 5 consecutive recordings of PPTs with a 2-minute interval at 3 reference sites: mental protuberance (PRO), first metacarpal bone (MET), and frontal bone (FRO), as well as at 3 test sites: temporomandibular joint, masseter muscle, and temporalis muscle. Results: Absolute PPTs decreased significantly for all test sites during the 5 recordings, while they increased significantly between the examinations. No ratio with FRO as a reference site changed significantly. The males had significantly higher absolute PPTs than the females at PRO and FRO sites. Conclusion: This study shows that absolute PPT levels in healthy individuals change significantly during consecutive PPT recordings, as well as over a 6-month period; this limits the usefulness of such measurements. This study also shows that the use of relative PPTs with the FRO as a reference site is useful, both for comparison between groups and for longitudinal studies.

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