Objective: The cardinal signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorder (TMD) are pain in joints and/or muscles, joint sounds, and limitation of movement. They are also associated with other complaints, one of which is headache. Myogenous TMD patients can be divided into those with a high and low temporomandibular opening index (TOI). These two subgroups appear to vary in several ways, including symptom severity. The objective was to assess the relationship between reported headache and TMD patients and a control group with no TMD and to compare the report of headache in high- and low-TOI myogenous TMD patients.
Method and Materials: Sixty-six patients with TMD were included in the study. Fortythree were diagnosed with myogenous TMD, 23 with arthrogenous TMD, and 20 with no TMD were included as a control. Patients reported a history of headache using a four-point Verbal Rating Scale for both severity and frequency. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed, after adjusting for confounders of sex and age. This helped investigate the association between the study groups and reported headache. Seventeen of the myogenous TMD patients were studied further. Seven were assigned to the high and 10 to the low-TOI group. Mean ages were 38.43 years and 33.00 years respectively. The Mann Whitney test was used to examine the difference in report of headache between these two groups.
Results: 76.7% of the myogenous group, 26.1% of the arthrogenous group, and 35% of the control group reported headache. Age and myogenous TMD were significantly associated with reported headache (P = .001 and .01, respectively). Myogenous TMD is a significant risk factor (OR = 5.20, P = .01) for reported headache while arthrogenous TMD is not (OR = 0.75, P = .69) A significant difference in report of headache between the two myogenous TMD groups was found (P = .0067).
Conclusion: The risk for reported headache is 5.20-times greater for myogenous TMD patients compared to the control group, but no difference was noted between the arthrogenous TMD and the control group. Age serves as a mild protective for reported headache. Younger patients tend to report more headaches. More frequent and severe headache occurred in the high-TOI group. This study serves as a reminder for clinicians in general practice to consider the effect of comorbidity when faced with TMD patients with headache.
Keywords: facial pain, headache, temporomandibular disorder (TMD), temporomandibular opening index