Brazilian Journal of Pain
https://brjp.org.br/article/doi/10.5935/2595-0118.20220003
Brazilian Journal of Pain
Review Article

Comorbidities associated with temporomandibular joint disorders and the role of central sensitization: literature review

Comorbidades associadas aos transtornos da articulação temporomandibular e o papel da sensibilização central: revisão de literatura

Heida Natali dos Santos Conceição; Tharcilla Calíope Azevêdo; Alcylene Carla de Jesus dos Santos; Maria Rita Sancho Rios Xavier

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a musculoskeletal disorder that causes the exacerbation of painful sensation during function and the presence of sensitivity/pain to palpation of the masticatory muscles and/or TMJ. People with pain complaints in the head, neck, shoulder or lower back may present signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders, sharing sleep disturbances, forgetfulness or difficulty concentrating, abdominal pain and differences in fecal consistency. Studies have also shown that TMJ disorders can be associated with emotional distress and multiple comorbidities related to central sensitization (CS). This, in turn, is responsible for producing hypersensitivity to pain, altering the sensory response. The pathophysiology of CS in TMJ disorders is not yet well understood. Thus, it is the scope of this review to synthesize knowledge about the relationship between CS and Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) and describe the comorbidities most frequently found in this profile of patients.

CONTENTS: TMJ disorders do not seem to occur in isolation. Comorbidities such as migraine, tension headache, fatigue, dizziness, tinnitus and allergies have been reported. Hyperexcitability in central nociceptive processing is part of the pathophysiology of TMJ disorder, which could explain the greater sensitivity to pain in other areas of the body in these individuals, characterizing a CS process.

CONCLUSION: The most frequently reported comorbid conditions are headache, psychological factors, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, and sleep disturbances. It is admitted that CS is a neurophysiological phenomenon present in some chronic pain disorders, including TMD.

Keywords

Central nervous system sensitization, Chronic pain, Myofascial pain syndromes, Temporomandibular joint disorders

Resumo

JUSTIFICATIVA E OBJETIVOS: O transtorno da articulação temporomandibular (ATM) apresenta-se como uma desordem musculoesquelética que causa a exacerbação da sensação dolorosa durante a função e a presença de hipersensibilidade/dor à palpação da musculatura mastigatória e/ou da ATM. Pessoas com queixas álgicas na cabeça, pescoço, ombro ou lombar podem apresentar sinais e sintomas de transtornos da ATM, compartilhando de distúrbios do sono, dificuldade de concentração ou esquecimento, dor abdominal e diferenças na consistência fecal. Estudos também têm mostrado que os transtornos da ATM podem estar associados a sofrimento emocional e múltiplas comorbidades relacionadas à sensibilização central (SC). Esta, por sua vez, é responsável por produzir hipersensibilidade à dor, alterando a resposta sensorial. A fisiopatologia da SC nos transtornos da ATM ainda não está bem esclarecida. Desse modo, torna-se escopo dessa revisão sintetizar o conhecimento sobre a relação entre SC e disfunção temporomandibular e descrever as comorbidades mais frequentemente encontradas nesse perfil de pacientes.

CONTEÚDO: Os transtornos da ATM parecem não ocorrer isoladamente. Comorbidades como enxaqueca, cefaleia tensional, fadiga, tontura, zumbido e alergias têm sido relatadas. Uma hiperexcitabilidade no processamento nociceptivo central faz parte da fisiopatologia da desordem da ATM, o que poderia explicar a maior sensibilidade à dor em outras áreas do corpo nesses indivíduos, caracterizando um processo de SC.

CONCLUSÃO: As condições de comorbidades mais frequentemente relatadas são cefaleias, fatores psicológicos, alergias, síndrome do intestino irritável e distúrbios do sono. Admite-se que a SC é um fenômeno neurofisiológico presente em alguns distúrbios de dor crônica, incluindo as disfunções temporomandibulares.

Palavras-chave

Dor crônica, Sensibilização do sistema nervoso central, Síndromes da dor miofascial, Transtornos da articulação temporomandibular

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Submitted date:
01/20/2021

Accepted date:
12/21/2021

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