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Temporomandibular Dysfunction and Headache Disorder

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It has been well established that primary headaches (especially migraine, chronic migraine, and tension‐type headache) and temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) are comorbid diseases, with the presence of one of them in a patient increasing the prevalence of the others. The relationship between the 2 diseases may involve the sharing of common physiopathological aspects. Studies about the treatment of this disease association have shown that a simultaneous therapeutic approach to the 2 diseases is more effective than the separate treatment of each. As a consequence, specialists in orofacial pain are now required to know the criteria for the diagnosis of headaches, and headache physicians are required to know the semiologic aspects of orofacial pain. Nevertheless, a headache may be attributed to TMD, instead be an association of 2 problems – TMD and primary headaches – in these cases a secondary headache, described in item 11.7 of the International Classification of Headache Disorders, is still a controversial topic. Attempts to determine the existence of this secondary headache with a specific or suggestive phenotype have been frustrated. The conclusion that can be reached based on the few studies published thus far is that this headache has a preferential unilateral or bilateral temporal location and migraine‐like or tension‐type headache‐like clinical characteristics. In the present review, we will consider the main aspects of the TMD‐headache relationship, that is, comorbidity of primary headaches and TMD and clinical aspects of the headaches attributed to TMD from the viewpoint of the International Headache Society and of a group of specialists in orofacial pain. This paper aims to explore our understanding of the association between TMD and headaches in general and migraine in particular.
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Keywords: comorbidity; headache; pain; temporomandibular dysfunction

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2015

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