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Large study confirms link between mental illness and jaw pain

Large study confirms link between mental illness and jaw pain

A large study from Folktandvården Stockholm confirmed that patients with depression had twice the risk of developing diseases of the jaw muscles or jaw joint.

Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) is a collective term for several diagnoses that affect the jaw muscles and/or the jaw joint. Adrian Salinas Fredricson, ST dentist in maxillofacial surgery and doctoral student at Folktandvården Stockholm, can confirm in his recent studies that TMJ disorders often occur in connection with other diseases, both physical and psychological.

Those who suffer from both physical and mental illnesses at the same time become a highly affected group. This of course increases the risk of sick leave but also the risk of early retirement. Here, along with the healthcare system, we need to find these patients early.
Adrian Salinas Fredrickson, dentist and doctoral student

The likelihood of developing TMD was twice as high for patients with, among other things, depression, eating disorders, behavioral disorders, joint disease, connective tissue disease, and back disease. The results show that it is important to know these possible causal links and relationships before and during treatment of TMJ disorders, and how important the collaboration between healthcare and dentistry is to improve the conditions of these patients. Studies also explain how these patients may have more severe TMJ symptoms when they already have other conditions.

The unique thing about this study is that a comparison was made with the entire population. The unusually large base and support from both the Central Statistical Office and the National Board of Health and Welfare further enhance the results.
– Lars Fredrickson, co-supervisor and dentist specializing in bite physiology

Approximately one in five is affected

TMJ disorder affects approximately 10-20 percent of the population and is associated with pain and decreased jaw function. Reduced function affects quality of life because those affected have a reduced ability to perform daily activities such as chewing, laughing, kissing, and speaking.

Most patients with TMJ disorders are treated, among other things, with a bite splint, relaxation exercises, and cognitive behavioral therapy. A smaller percentage of patients are treated with various forms of surgical intervention.

It investigates the long-term effects at the societal level

The research project aims to increase knowledge about risk factors for developing TMJ disorders, how TMJ disorders affect the need for sick leave and early retirement and what is the role of co-morbidity in the use of such forms of compensation.

supervisorKarina Krueger Wiener (General Dentistry in Stockholm)
Associate Supervisor: Aron Naimi-Akbar (Malmö University), Lars Fredriksson (Public Dental Service Stockholm), Britt Hedenberg-Magnusson (Public Dental Service Stockholm), Johanna Adami (Sophiahemmet University), Bodil Lund (Karolinska Institute) and Annika Rosén (University of Bergen ))

Read Adrian’s two most recent studies here:
The role of mental health and behavioral disorders in the development of temporomandibular disorder: a nationwide SWEREG-TMD case-control study.

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue diseases in relation to temporomandibular disorders – a nationwide case-control study SWEREG-TMD

Kagsa NelsonCommunicator08-123 166 [email protected]

We at Folktandvården Stockholm welcome you, young or old, wherever you are or where you come from. We provide general and specialized dental care, research for the future, and work for a sustainable community with better public health. With 80 clinics across the county and nearly 2,000 employees, we see up to 1.4 million patients annually. Folktandvarden is part of the Stockholm region.