Relationship between Otologic symptoms, headache, depression and temporomandibular disorders

Rahena Akhter, Nur Mohammad Monsur Hassan, Manabu Morita, David Wilson

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Background: The etiology of temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is largely unknown. Some studies have been implicated that otologic symptoms are associated with the predisposition, initiation, and perpetuation of TMD. The aim is to investigate the associations of aural symptoms, headache and depression with the presence of TMD symptoms in young adults.
Methods: A personal interview survey was conducted on first-year university students (n = 1,930; 18.6 ± 2.1 years) regarding symptoms of temporomandibular disorders (TMD), aural problems, headache, shoulder pain and depression. Logistic regression was applied to assess the associations of these problems with the presence of TMD symptoms after controlling for age and gender.
Results: Among the 1,930 students, 543 students exhibited TMD symptoms and were classified into 7 groups: clicking only (Group I, n = 319), pain in the TMJ only (Group II, n = 21), difficulty in mouth opening only (Group III, n = 18), clicking and pain (Group IV, n = 29), clicking and difficulty in mouth opening (Group V, n = 48), difficulty in mouth opening and pain (Group VI, n = 11), and combination of three symptoms (Group VII, n = 97). The control group (n = 1,387) were subjects without any TMD symptoms. After adjusting for age and gender, a strong association was observed between TMD symptoms (Group II and IV) and tinnitus (OR=12.1 and 13.2, respectively). TMD symptoms (Group I, II and III) were also associated with vertigo and headache. Otalgia and depression were significantly associated with the presence of clicking only.
Conclusions: TMD symptoms were significantly correlated to aural symptoms and headache. A functional evaluation of the stomatognathic system should be considered in subjects with unexplained aural symptoms and headache.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJacobs Journal of Dentistry and Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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