University of Oulu

Riina Rytivaara DDS, Ritva Näpänkangas DDS, PhD, Tiina Kainulainen DDS, PhD, Annina Sipola DDS, PhD, Soili Kallio-Pulkkinen DDS, PhD, Aune Raustia DDS, PhD & Jérôme Thevenot PhD (2021) Thermographic findings related to facial pain – a survey of 40 subjects, CRANIO®, DOI: 10.1080/08869634.2021.1894859

Thermographic findings related to facial pain : a survey of 40 subjects

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Author: Rytivaara, Riina1,2; Näpänkangas, Ritva2,3; Kainulainen, Tiina3;
Organizations: 1Department of Dental Imaging, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.5 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Informa, 2021
Publish Date: 2023-06-28


Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess how thermography findings relate painful symptoms and signs of temporomandibular disorders (TMD).

Methods: Thermography, combined with chewing of paraffin wax, was performed on 40 subjects. The results were analyzed according to gender and pain-related TMD symptoms and clinical signs.

Results: The overall temperatures after chewing were higher in TMD patients than in controls. For females, the most significant findings were the thermal increase between the relaxed state and subjects’ state after chewing in temporal and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) regions. For males, all calculated parameters demonstrated a poor ability to discriminate TMD from controls.

Conclusion: Thermography could be a potential tool in diagnostics of female TMD patients. The results suggest that the thermal information assessed in specific facial areas could help to discriminate TMD patients from non-TMD patients and could be used to quantify the pain associated with TMD.

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Series: CRANIO®
ISSN: 0886-9634
ISSN-E: 2151-0903
ISSN-L: 0886-9634
Issue: Online first
DOI: 10.1080/08869634.2021.1894859
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 313 Dentistry
217 Medical engineering
Funding: This study has been financially supported by VTR research grants from Oulu University and Medical Imaging, Oulu University Hospital.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.