To report the prevalence and demographics of temporomandibular disorder (TMD) within a population of clinic patients and to describe the prevalence of revisited and new, previously unstudied, aural symptoms described by a sample of these patients with TMD (hereinafter “TMD patients”).
A retrospective evaluation of patient records was completed to determine the percentage and the demographics of TMD patients in a clinical setting. A prospective analysis was done on the self-reported prevalence of previously studied and new aural symptoms of 78 TMD study patients compared with 78 control patients without TMD.
A private otolaryngology practice in a rural Arizona town.
Patients with TMD and aural symptoms.
Ten percent of all new otolaryngology clinic patients were diagnosed as having TMD. Of the 78 patients, 27 (35%) listed the ear as one of their sites of pain. The prevalence of each of the 8 aural symptoms assessed was significantly higher in TMD patients compared with controls (P < .001). A warm and/or fluid sensation in the ear and a stuffed cotton sensation in the ear were the most indicative symptoms of TMD because they had the highest relative risk ratios in TMD patients. Aural symptoms of loud noise sensitivity and cold air/wind sensitivity are also relevant and were approximately 5 times more frequent in TMD subjects than in controls.
Patients with TMD are a significant component of otolaryngology practice. There are previously uninvestigated aural symptoms that occur much more frequently in TMD patients than in patients without TMD.