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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Odontostomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery
Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, Index to Dental Literature, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index




Minerva Stomatologica 2016 April;65(2):85-96

language: English, Italian

Headache and temporo mandibular disorders: epidemiological assessment


Service of Clinical Gnathology (SoCG), Head-Neck Assistance Department, Umberto I Polyclinic, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Rome, Italy


BACKGROUND: Temporo mandibular disorders (TMDs) and headache are closely related pathologies. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, incidence, and the intensity of headache in 3304 dysfunctional patients (G1) at the Service of Clinical Gnathology of the Head-Neck Assistance Department of Umberto I Polyclinic at Sapienza University of Rome.
METHODS: G1 is composed by two subgroups of patient S1 (N.=2375) and S2 (N.=929) analyzed in different periods, respectively 1996-2006 and 2011-2013. The findings were compared with those of a control group of subjects from the general Italian population recently reported elsewhere. The prevalence of headache in the dysfunctional population was analyzed by calculating the proportion of that population who tested positive to cephalic pain for the entire study period. The incidence of headache has been calculated by determining the proportion cases of headache in TMD population, during the period analyzed among those considered at risk at the beginning of the examination period. The intensity of cephalic pain was evaluated using the Verbal Numeric Scale. Confidence Intervals (CI) at the 95% confidence level were calculated to get a precise estimate of research data.
RESULTS: Comparison of G1 and control sample did not reveal many important differences, respectively with a headache prevalence of 49.5% (95%CI 47.8%-51.2%) and 42.8%(95%CI 46.8-38.8%). However, comparison of S1, which constituted a sample similar in numbers to the control sample and was observed during a similar time period, revealed a clearly greater prevalence of headache in the dysfunctional population 67.3% (95%CI 64.3-70.3%) than in the general representative population of Italian people 42.8% (95%CI 46.8-38.8%). The incidence of headache in the dysfunctional population was 39.49% (95%CI 37.79-41.19%). Headache incidence in the first subgroup (S1) was 32.7%(95%CI 34.6-30.8%), while in S2 was 59.24%(95%CI 56.24-62.24%), demonstrating an increase of incidence in the second subgroup analyzed. In G1 the average intensity of headache was severe (VNS>50). Headache is more intense in dysfunctional patients of the second subgroups (S2) than the first subgroup (S1) VNS 24.91 (95%CI 23.11-26.71) vs. 70.00 (95%CI 67.0-73.0).
CONCLUSIONS: These findings confirm the existence of a relationship between headache and TMDs, showing that a dysfunctional patient has a greater predisposition to headache than a non-dysfunctional subject.

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