A Study Regarding Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) Has Implications for Audiologists
Sampaio and colleagues in a recently-published article evaluated the prevalence of and relationship between several factors on temporomandibular disorders (TMD). These authors define TMD “as a cluster of disorders characterized by pain in the preauricular area, masticatory muscles and temporomandibular joint (TMJ), limitation or deviations in the mandibular range of motion, and clicking of the TMJ during the mandibular function.”
Two-hundred twenty-seven non-institutionalized and 80 institutionalized subjects aged greater than 60 years were evaluated in this study. Subjects were administered a self-report questionnaire that evaluated the presence/absence of TMD, as well as the sociodemographic and otologic characteristics of the subjects and the presence of muscle pain/tenderness.
Half (50.5 percent) of the subjects were considered to have TMD. Regarding other study findings, the big takeaway message for audiologists was that there was a significant difference (p<0.001) between those with TMD and those without in regards to both tinnitus and dizziness. As might be expected, the percentage of subjects with tinnitus and with dizziness was greater than those subjects without. In fact, the subjects with TMD were more than two times likely than those without to report tinnitus or dizziness complaints, In addition, the subjects with TMD were more likely to be depressed. These results provide support for audiologists to query their patients who report tinnitus and/or dizziness about TMD and depression and to refer to other health-care professionals as appropriate.
Sampaio N, Oliveira M, Ortega A, Santos L, Alves T. (2017) Temporomandibular disorders in elderly individuals: the influence of institutionalization and sociodemographic factors. Codas 29(2):e20160114.