University of Oulu

Huhtela, O. S., Näpänkangas, R., Suominen, A. L., Karppinen, J., Kunttu, K., & Sipilä, K. (2021). Association of psychological distress and widespread pain with sympatoms of temporomandibular disorders and self-reported bruxism in students. Clinical and Experimental Dental Research, 7(6), 1154–1166.

Association of psychological distress and widespread pain with sympatoms of temporomandibular disorders and self-reported bruxism in students

Saved in:
Author: Huhtela, Outi S.1,2; Näpänkangas, Ritva2,3; Suominen, Anna Liisa1;
Organizations: 1University of Eastern Finland - Kuopio campus, Institute of Dentistry, Kuopio, Finland
2Faculty of Medicine, Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences, Oulu University, Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center, Oral and Maxillofacial Department, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
4Centre for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Occupational Health, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland
6Finnish Student Health Service, Turku, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-17


Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of psychosocial distress and widespread pain with self-reported symptoms of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and bruxism, in two cross-sectional surveys in 2012 and 2016, and whether there are temporal changes in the magnitude of associations.

Materials and methods: The data were gathered from Finnish university students in 2012 and 2016. TMD symptoms were assessed with three validated questions and bruxism with one frequently used question. Psychosocial distress was assessed with the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12), and widespread pain with questions of pain in the extremities, the neck or upper back, and lower back. The associations of GHQ-12, widespread pain and background variables with TMD symptoms and bruxism were analyzed with chi-square tests, t-test and binary logistic regression models stratified by gender, and adjusted for age-group, self-reported general health/wellbeing and presence of widespread pain.

Results: Higher GHQ-12 score and presence of widespread pain were significantly associated with TMD symptoms in both genders at both time points. The association of higher GHQ-12 score with sleep bruxism and awake bruxism were inconsistent. In the adjusted model higher GHQ-12 score and widespread pain were significantly related to TMD pain symptoms in both genders at both time points, and to bruxism in 2012. Between the two time points a greater variability in these associations was seen in men than in women.

Conclusions: Psychological distress and widespread pain are significant determinants in perceived TMD pain and bruxism among students. No significant temporal alterations were observed.

see all

Series: Clinical and experimental dental research
ISSN: 2057-4347
ISSN-E: 2057-4347
ISSN-L: 2057-4347
Volume: 7
Issue: 6
Pages: 1154 - 1166
DOI: 10.1002/cre2.472
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
313 Dentistry
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Clinical and Experimental Dental Research published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.