Emotional and physiologic responses to laboratory challenges: Patients with temporomandibular disorders versus matched control subjects

Shelly L. Curran, Charles R. Carlson, Jeffrey P. Okeson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explored psychologic and physiologic factors differentiating patients with temporomandibular disorders (n = 23) from sex-, age-, and weight-matched asymptomatic control subjects. Each subject completed several standard psychologic questionnaires and then underwent two laboratory stressors (mental arithmetic and pressure-pain stimulation). Results indicated that patients with temporomandibular disorders had greater resting respiration rates and reported greater anxiety, sadness, and guilt relative to control subjects. In response to the math stressor, patients with temporomandibular disorders reacted with greater anger than did control subjects. There were no differences between patients with temporomandibular disorders and control subjects on pain measures or any other measured variable for the pressure-pain stimulation trial. In addition, there were no differences in electromyography levels between patients with temporomandibular disorders and control subjects. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for the etiology and treatment of this common and debilitating set of disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-149
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Orofacial Pain
Volume10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996

Keywords

  • Orofacial pain
  • Reactivity
  • Temporomandibular disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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