Association between anterior tooth wear and temporomandibular disorder pain in a German population

Oliver Schierz, Mike T. John, Ernst Schroeder, Frank Lobbezoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Statement of problem: Bruxism is purported to be a risk factor for temporomandibular disorder (TMD) pain, but the association requires clarification. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relation between anterior tooth wear as an indicator for bruxism and the presence of TMD pain. Material and methods: Study subjects included 646 participants (age range 35 to 44 years) of a national oral health survey in Germany. Anterior tooth wear was registered for each anterior tooth with a 4-point scale (none, mild, moderate, and severe wear). Temporomandibular disorder was defined as self-reported pain in the face, jaw muscles, and/or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) during the last month, according to either the German version of the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders or the response to a question about pain in the masticatory muscles or the TMJ according to the Helkimo-Index. A multiple logistic regression analysis, controlling for the effects of age and gender, investigated the linear relationship between increased tooth wear and the risk of TMD pain. Results: After adjusting for age and gender, an odds ratio of 1.11 (95% confidence interval: 0.7-1.8) indicated that the risk of TMD pain increased an estimated 11% per unit increase of tooth wear. There was no statistically significant or clinically relevant relationship between a linear increase of tooth wear and risk of TMD pain. Conclusion: Anterior tooth wear was not associated with self-reported TMD pain in 35- to 44-year-old subjects. Using anterior tooth wear as an indicator for long-term bruxing behavior, a clinically relevant dose-response relationship between this type of bruxism and TMD pain does not appear to exist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-309
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


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