Temporomandibular pain dysfunction disorder resulting from road traffic accidents–an Australian study.

Authors: Probert TC, Wiesenfeld D, Reade PC.


The relationship between temporomandibular pain dysfunction disorder (TMPD) and trauma to the head and neck is unclear. A retrospective analysis of the records from the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) of Victoria, Australia, in the year 1987, was done to identify those subjects who received treatment for TMPD resulting from a road traffic accident (RTA). Twenty-eight subjects with TMPD were identified from a total of 20 673 subjects who claimed health care services from the TAC for RTA-related disorders. In this study, TMPD for which subjects sought treatment was uncommonly associated with either direct or indirect trauma to the temporomandibular joints: 0.4% of subjects with mandibular fractures and 0.5% of subjects with whiplash injuries presented for treatment of an associated TMPD. Females were found to present for treatment of TMPD more commonly than males at a ratio of 5:2. It was also noted that 75% of subjects complained of symptoms of TMPD immediately after the accident and approximately 96% within 2 months of the accident. Subjects were not lost to follow-up because all claims for treatment were made to the TAC, regardless of the clinician involved. In this study, 25% of subjects attended more than one dentist for management. It was concluded that TMPD for which subjects sought treatment was an uncommon result of an RTA and was infrequently associated with a mandibular fracture or whiplash injury.