Biopsychosocial Factors Associated with Temporomandibular Joint Disorders



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The present study represents a continuation of research that has focused on the treatment of acute temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs) using non-surgical interventions. This study follows previous studies of Wright and colleagues (2004), Gatchel and colleagues (2006), and Stowell and colleagues (2007). Data were collected from 221 patients at community dental practices. Patients were subsequently assigned to one of three treatment groups based on baseline measurements: Low-Risk/ Non-Intervention (LR/NI), High-Risk/ Biobehavioral Treatment (HR/BB), and High-Risk/ Self-Care Treatment (HR/SC). The current study primarily investigated the biopsychosocial differences between temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) diagnoses. Findings suggested that participants with a combined diagnosis of myofascial pain disorder (MPD) and other disorders reported more pain, psychosocial dysfunction, depression, and somatization compared to participants with no diagnoses. In terms of functional performance, findings indicated that participants with a combination of MPD and other disorders reported more pain while chewing. However, no differences were found in particle size breakdown, broadness, or difference in weight. This study also examined whether high-risk participants reported higher rates of perceived stress. Findings indicated that there were no significant differences between the amounts of perceived stress. Finally, the present study examined the benefits of a biobehavioral treatment compared to a self-care treatment regimen from baseline to one-year follow-up. Preliminary findings suggested that, over time, participants had a reduction in self-reported pain and an increase in psychosocial functioning regardless of their treatment group assignment. Preliminary findings revealed that the number of visits to health care providers for jaw-related pain did not differ among treatment groups. Due to the small number of participants that had reached the one-year time point at the time of analysis, six-month analyses were also conducted. Findings suggested that all participants, regardless of treatment group, reported less pain and less psychosocial dysfunction at the six-month follow-up. Additionally, there was a significant difference found between HR participants and LR/NI participants. However, no significant differences were found between HR/BB and HR/SC treatment. In terms of visits to health care providers for jaw pain, no significant differences were found between HR/BB and HR/SC treatment groups at the six-month time point.

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