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Dental Press J Orthod. 2015 Jan-Feb;20(1):127-33. doi: 10.1590/2176-9451.20.1.127-133.sar.

TMD and chronic pain: a current view.

Author information

University of São Paulo.
School of Dentistry, USP, Bauru.
Department of Prosthesis, School of Dentistry, USP, Bauru.


This review aims at presenting a current view on the physiopathologic mechanisms associated with temporomandibular disorders (TMDs). While joint pain is characterized by a well-defined inflammatory process mediated by tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin, chronic muscle pain presents with enigmatic physiopathologic mechanisms, being considered a functional pain syndrome similar to fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis and chronic fatigue syndrome. Central sensitization is the common factor unifying these conditions, and may be influenced by the autonomic nervous system and genetic polymorphisms. Thus, TMDs symptoms should be understood as a complex response which might get worse or improve depending on an individual's adaptation.

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