Aims: To systematically compare clinical findings and psychosocial factors between patients suffering from atypical odontalgia (AO) and an age- and gender-matched group of patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD).Methods: Forty-six AO patients (7 men and 39 women, mean age, 56 years) were compared with 41 TMD patients (8 men and 33 women, mean age, 58 years). Results: Mean pain intensity at the time of inclusion in the study was similar between the groups (TMD: 5.3 ± 0.4, AO: 5.0 ± 0.3), but pain duration was longer in AO patients (AO: 7.7 ± 1.1 years, TMD: 4.5 ± 0.1 years). Eighty-three percent of the AO patients and 15% of TMD patients reported pain onset in relation to dental/surgical procedures. Episodic tension-type headache (TTH) occurred equally in both groups (TMD: 46%, AO: 46%), but TMD patients more frequently experienced chronic TTH (TMD: 35%, AO: 18%), myofascial TMD (TMD: 93%, AO: 50%), and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD: 66%, AO: 2%). Overall, TMD patients had lower pressure pain thresholds and poorer jaw function than AO patients. Mean depression and somatization scores were moderate to severe in both groups, and widespread pain was most common in TMD patients.Conclusion: AO and TMD share some characteristics but differ significantly in report of dental trauma, jaw function, pain duration, and pain site.
2008. Vol. 22, no 1