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J Orofac Pain. 2008 Fall;22(4):317-22.

Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder-type pain in U.S. adults: the National Health Interview Survey.

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Center to Address Disparities in Children's Oral Health, USA.



To compare prevalences of self-reported temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJMD)-type pain in the 2002 U.S. National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) by age and gender for non-Hispanic whites (Caucasians) and non-Hispanic blacks (African Americans).


Data from the 2002 NHIS included information on gender, age, race, ethnicity, education, and TMJMD-type pain. Rao-Scott survey chi-square and survey logistic regression analyses using sampling weights and accounting for the complex design were used to analyze variables relating to prevalences.


A total of 30,978 people, 17,498 females and 13,480 males, 20,389 non-Hispanic whites and 4179 non-Hispanic blacks, were included. The overall prevalence of TMJMD-type pain was 4.6%, with 6.3% for women and 2.8% for men. However, based on age, a significant but modest racial/ethnic difference emerged after adjusting for socioeconomic status. For non-Hispanic white women up to age 50, the prevalence was approximately 7% to 8%, but it decreased after age 55. Non-Hispanic black women had much lower prevalence at younger ages (approximately 4% at 25 to 34 years), which increased thereafter up to 55 to 64 years of age. A similar racial pattern seemed to emerge for non-Hispanic black men, with the lowest prevalence at ages 25 to 34 years, while non-Hispanic white men had higher prevalences. Overall, however, age seemed to play more of a role in women than men.


This is the first report of findings from a nationally representative US sample for TMJMD-type pain by age and race/ethnicity. TMJMD-type pain differed significantly by race, age, and gender after adjusting for socioeconomic status.

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