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Eur J Paediatr Dent. 2014 Dec;15(4):349-54.

Temporomandibular disorders in young people with an intellectual disability: prevalence of signs and symptoms.

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Marmara University, Dentistry Faculty Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Istanbul, Turkey.
Centre for Special Care in Dentistry, Ghent University, PaeCoMeDis, Gent, Belgium.



To assess the prevalence of signs and symptoms related to TMJ disorders in a group of young people with intelectual disability (ID) and a matched group of healthy adolescents.


A group of 105 young Special Olympics (SO) athletes (ID group) aged from 14 to 25 years and a control group were examined for the presence or absence of signs and symptoms of TMD through interview and clinical examination.


A total of 64 young people with ID (61%) had at least one sign of TMD compared to 41 (39%) of the individuals screened that was free of any TMD symptoms. A significantly higher prevalence of TMJ sounds (palpation and stethoscope), TMJ tenderness, maximum vertical opening, headaches were observed among SO athletes compared to the healthy control group (p<0.05). A significant difference was recorded only for the Temporalis tenderness between the girls and boys (p<0.05).


TMJ disorders are noticeable problem for intellectually disabled patients and a possible cause of pain that should be examined more in detail. We suggest that oral screening in people with a mental disability should be modified by including basic TMJ examination parameters in order to allow better understanding of the pathological aspects so as to address effective preventive and therapeutic measures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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