Oral Biosciences & Medicine
Oral Biosci Med 1 (2004), No. 1     10. Mar. 2004
Oral Biosci Med 1 (2004), No. 1  (10.03.2004)

Page 45-54


Association between Orofacial Pain and other Symptoms: a Population-based Study
Macfarlane, T. V. / Worthington, H. V
The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between orofacial pain (OFP) in the community and other symptoms.
This cross-sectional population-based study was conducted in a general medical practice in South East Cheshire, UK. Questionnaires were mailed to a random sample of 4,000 adults aged 18-65 years, of whom 2,504 responded (adjusted participation rate 74%).
The current study showed an association between self-reported OFP and all the other symptoms measured. The strongest association was found for a high level of sleep disturbance (relative risk (RR) 3.7; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 2.9-4.9), tenderness of jaw muscles in the morning (RR 3.7; 95% CI 3.3-4.1), persons with frequent headaches (RR 3.1; 95% CI 2.7-3.5), and tiredness or stiffness of jaw muscles (RR 2.6; 95% CI 2.3-3.0). Having pain in the body other than the head was associated with a relative risk of OFP of 1.6 (95% CI 1.4-1.9), and increased risk persisted when individual body locations were considered (back, abdominal, forearm, shoulder and knee pain). Those who took medication for bowels had a higher risk of OFP (RR 1.4; 95% CI 1.1-1.8). Problems with micturition were associated with an elevated risk of 1.5 (95% CI 1.0-2.0). None of these results changed significantly after adjustment for age and gender.
This cross-sectional community-based study contributes additional information on the relationship between other symptoms and OFP. It suggests that future research should adopt a multidisciplinary approach to OFP, however further longitudinal studies are required establishing the association between other symptoms and the onset of OFP.

Keywords: orofacial pain, general population, pain, sleep disturbance