Painful temporomandibular disorders and headaches in 359 dental and medical students.

Keywords:  Migraine, chronic migraine, episodic migraine, severe migraine, neurology, headache, temporomandibular disorders (TMD), sleep bruxism, primary headache, depression, and orofacial pain.

In 2011, a study in Jerusalem, Israel, assessed the prevalence of headaches and painful temporomandibular disorders in dental and medical students. 359 students completed a survey which included specific lifestyle questions as well as the relationship among TMDs, headaches, and depression rates. Eighty-three percent of the students reported a lifetime prevalence of headache, 55.9% of which were episodic tension-type headaches or migraines (19.2%). Students with painful TMD recorded higher depression scores than students without. Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, Dr. Stan Farrell focuses on the treatment of all types of headaches, especially migraines.  His treatments are conservative, non-invasive and are proven to alleviate pain without the use of narcotics. Dr. Farrell is Board Certified and a member of the American Headache Society and a Diplomate with the American Board of Orofacial Pain, making him one of the best choices for your migraine headache treatment. If you or someone you know suffers from headache or migraines and or struggles with depression, please contact Dr. Farrell at AZ TMJ today to schedule an appointment.

Benoliel R, Sela G, Teich S, Sharav Y.


OBJECTIVE:  To assess the prevalence of headaches and painful tempormandibular disorders (TMDs) and examine these via demographic and specific lifestyle parameters, as well as examine the relationship among TMDs, headaches, and depression rates.

METHOD AND MATERIALS:  A group of 359 medical and dental students completed a detailed questionnaire regarding demographic features and the presence of headaches and facial pain. The survey included a section on lifestyle (nutrition, alcohol and tobacco consumption, physical activity) and a Zung depression assessment.

RESULTS:  About eleven percent of the subjects reported pain: 8.6% from the jaw joint, 1.7% from the muscles of mastication, and 0.8% had both (ie, painful TMD). Eighty-three percent reported a lifetime prevalence of any headache, most of which were episodic tension-type headaches (56.9%) or migraines (19.2%). There was no significant correlation between headache diagnosis and the presence of painful TMD.

Patients with painful TMD had higher depression scores than patients without and smoked more tobacco. This was not observed in headache patients. Patients with headache complained of significantly more dizziness and fatigue, particularly in the migraine and frequent episodic tension-type headache groups.

CONCLUSION:  TMD patients should be carefully assessed for the presence of emotional problems and referred to a suitable care provider.