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A method for preventive intervention regarding temporomandibular pain and dysfunction

Journal article
Authors Saghafi Ellie
Christina Mejersjö
Published in Acta Odontologica Scandinavica
Volume 76
Issue 7
Pages 482-487
ISSN 0001-6357
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Odontology
Pages 482-487
Language en
Subject categories Dentistry


Objective: Adolescent girls frequently suffer from temporomandibular disorder (TMD) symptoms and associated headache. A program aimed at informing about risk behavior for TMD symptoms, how to influence harmful habits and about general relaxation was tested. Material and methods: Eighty girls at two high schools, 16 years of age, with or without symptoms, were invited to the health information on two occasions and 60 girls participated. Firstly, a questionnaire regarding symptoms and oral parafunctional habits was administrated. Structured information was given about the normal anatomy and function of muscles and joints, about the occlusion, oral habits and symptoms of orofacial pain/dysfunction and headache. General relaxation was instructed and trained. At a three-month follow-up, the same questionnaire regarding symptoms as at baseline was completed. Result: The information provided was perceived as useful and instructive. At the follow-up, 77% reported that they used what they had learned. Headache once a week or more decreased from 49% at baseline to 35% and headache 'never/rarely' changed from 11% to 25% (p = .002). Reported joint sounds had decreased by the follow-up (p = .053), as had the use of chewing gum (p = .002). A majority of the girls suggested that the information should be scheduled during school hours. Conclusion: Health information about the jaw system can influence risk factors for TMD symptoms and the frequency of symptoms among adolescent girls.

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