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Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache



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J Orofac Pain 29 (2015), No. 4     20. Oct. 2015
J Orofac Pain 29 (2015), No. 4  (20.10.2015)

Page 370-377

Association Between Clinical Signs of Temporomandibular Disorders and Psychological Distress Among an Adult Finnish Population
Tuuliainen, Lauri / Sipilä, Kirsi / Mäki, Pirjo / Könönen, Mauno / Suominen, Anna Liisa
Aims: To evaluate the association between signs of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and psychological distress in a general population-based sample of Finnish adults.
Methods: The Health 2000 Survey was conducted in 2000-2001 by the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland. Of the sample of adults aged 30 or over (n = 8,028), 79% participated in a clinical oral health examination, which included examination of TMD signs. The participants (n = 6,155) also completed questionnaires, including the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), which measured psychological distress. Associations between TMD signs and psychological distress measured by the GHQ-12 were examined in both genders. Statistical measures included chi-square tests, t tests, and logistic regression analyses.
Results: The prevalence of the TMD signs (limited opening, clicking, crepitation, temporomandibular joint [TMJ] palpation pain, and muscle palpation pain) was 11.2%, 17.6%, 10.5%, 5.1%, and 18.9% in women, and 6.1%, 12.9%, 5.3%, 2.4%, and 7.2% in men, respectively. High GHQ-12 scores, measured as continuous variables and in quartiles by distress level, were significantly associated with masticatory muscle pain on palpation in both genders (P < .05) and with TMJ pain on palpation in women (P < .05). Additionally, high GHQ-12 scores as continuous were associated with TMJ crepitation in men (P < .05). The logistic regression analyses showed that higher GHQ-12 scores were associated significantly with masticatory muscle pain on palpation both in women (odds ratio [OR] = 2.18; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.6-2.9) and men (OR = 2.03; 95% CI = 1.3-3.1).
Conclusion: TMD signs and psychological distress appear to be associated. However, due to the limitations of the study, the findings can be regarded as preliminary.

Keywords: GHQ, Health 2000 Survey, psychological distress, temporomandibular disorders, TMD