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J Orofac Pain. 2010 Fall;24(4):367-72.

Temporomandibular disorder patients' illness beliefs and self-efficacy related to bruxism.

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  • 1Department of Oral Kinesiology, Academic Centre for Dentistry, Amsterdam (ACTA), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



To examine temporomandibular disorder (TMD) patients' illness beliefs and self-efficacy in relation to bruxism, and to examine whether these beliefs are related to the severity of patients' self-perceived bruxing behavior.


A total of 504 TMD patients (75% women; mean age ± SD: 40.7 ± 14.6 years), referred to the TMD Clinic of the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam, completed a battery of questionnaires, of which one inquired about the frequency of oral parafunctional behaviors, including bruxism (clenching and grinding). Patients' illness beliefs were assessed with a question about the perceived causal relationship between bruxism and TMD pain; patients' self-efficacy was assessed with questions about the general possibility of reducing oral parafunctional behaviors and patients' own appraisal of their capability to accomplish this.


Sleep bruxism or awake bruxism was attributed by 66.7% and 53.8% of the patients, respectively, as a cause of TMD pain; 89.9% believed that oral parafunctions could be reduced, and 92.5% believed themselves capable of doing so. The higher a patient's bruxism frequency, the more bruxism was believed to be the cause of TMD pain (Spearman's rho 0.77 and 0.71, P < .001) and the more pessimistic the self-efficacy beliefs were about the reducibility of oral parafunctions (Kruskal-Wallis ?2 = 19.91, df = 2, P < .001; and Kruskal-Wallis ?2 = 7.15, df = 2, P = .028).


Most TMD patients believe in the harmfulness of bruxism and the possibility of reducing this behavior. Bruxism frequency is associated with illness beliefs and self-efficacy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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