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Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache



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J Orofac Pain 32 (2018), No. 4     6. Nov. 2018
J Orofac Pain 32 (2018), No. 4  (06.11.2018)

Page 375-380

No Dose-Response Association Between Self-Reported Bruxism and Pain-Related Temporomandibular Disorders: A Retrospective Study
Muzalev, Konstantin / van Selms, Maurits K. A. / Lobbezoo, Frank
Aims: To investigate whether a dose-response relationship exists between the intensity of pain-related temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) and the amount of self-reported bruxism activities in a group of TMD pain patients.
Methods: A total of 768 patients referred to a specialized clinic for complaints of orofacial pain and dysfunction were initially enrolled in the study. Of these patients, 293 who were diagnosed with at least one type of pain-related TMD according to the Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders were selected. The questionnaire-based reports of TMD pain intensity, as assessed by an 11-point numeric rating scale (NRS), were subsequently compared to the reports of sleep bruxism (single question; 5-point Likert scale) and awake bruxism (mean score of six questions; 5-point Likert scale). Spearman correlations were used to assess associations, and possible confounding effects of depression, somatic symptoms, and anxiety were taken into account.
Results: Spearman correlation tests provided no significant correlation between the amount of self-reported sleep bruxism and TMD pain intensity. On the other hand, the amount of awake bruxism was positively correlated with the intensity of TMD pain; however, the latter correlation was lost when the model was controlled for the effects of depression.
Conclusion: The assumption that there is a dose-response gradient association between bruxism and TMD pain, reflected in more bruxism leading to more overloading and thus to more pain, could not be justified.

Keywords: bruxism, confounding, dose-response relationship, pain-related temporomandibular disorders, psychological factors