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J Orofac Pain. 2006 Winter;20(1):9-23.

The association between head and cervical posture and temporomandibular disorders: a systematic review.

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  • 1Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. sla4@ualberta.ca



To carry out a systematic review to assess the evidence concerning the association between head and cervical posture and temporomandibular disorders (TMD).


A search of Medline, Pubmed, Embase, Web of Science, Lilacs, and Cochrane Library databases was conducted in all languages with the help of a health sciences librarian. Key words used in the search were posture, head posture, cervical spine or neck, vertebrae, cervical lordosis, craniomandibular disorders or temporomandibular disorders, temporomandibular disorders, and orofacial pain or facial pain. Abstracts which appeared to fulfill the initial selection criteria were selected by consensus. The original articles were retrieved and evaluated to ensure they met the inclusion criteria. A methodological checklist was used to evaluate the quality of the selected articles and their references were hand-searched for possible missing articles.


Twelve studies met all inclusion criteria and were analyzed in detail for their methodology and information quality. Nine articles that analyzed the association between head posture and TMD included patients with mixed TMD diagnosis; 1 article differentiated among muscular, articular, and mixed symptomatology; and 3 articles analyzed information from patients with only articular problems. Finally, 2 studies evaluated the association between head posture and TMD in patients with muscular TMD. Several methodological defects were noted in the 12 studies.


Since most of the studies included in this systematic review were of poor methodological quality, the findings of the studies should be interpreted with caution. The association between intra-articular and muscular TMD and head and cervical posture is still unclear, and better controlled studies with comprehensive TMD diagnoses, greater sample sizes, and objective posture evaluation are necessary.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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