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Journal of Stomatology
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Original paper

Cognitive functioning and myofascial pain in temporomandibular disorders

Joanna Biegańska-Banaś, Ewa Ferendiuk, Józef Krzysztof Gierowski, Małgorzata Pihut

J Stoma 2018; 71, 3: 277-287
Online publish date: 2018/12/23
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Physical examination of patients suffering from temporomandibular disorders is increasingly accompanied by monitoring their psychological functioning. It includes basic diagnostics of the emotional and motivational sphere as well as, although rarely, the social sphere. Analysis of the pain profile changing under the influence of the therapeutic process and including the psychoneurophysiological aspect of the phenomenon suggests the need to extend the scope of assessment. Specific aspects of cognitive functioning covered by the research are mental activities that allow to create and modify knowledge about the environment and to control one’s own reactions.

The aim of this article is to describe in detail the cognitive functioning of patients suffering from temporomandibular disorders at various stages of prosthetic treatment, with particular emphasis on the experience of chronic pain.

Material and methods
The study included 45 patients, 23 were diagnosed with myofascial pain form of temporomandibular disorders and 22 diagnosed with temporomandibular disorders showing the same pathomechanism, but not reporting pain. Scheduled analysis included a number of inter-group comparisons based on the data obtained by using selected psychological tests and neuropsychological clinical trials.

Statistically significant differences in cognitive functioning of patients suffering from pain due to tem-poromandibular disorders and those patients who did not experience pain, although were diagnosed with temporomandibular disorders, were observed.

It is important to take into account the psychological functioning of patients in a broader sense, including the neuropsychological mechanism of temporomandibular disorders myofascial pain.


myofascial pain, temporomandibular disorders, cognitive functions, psychostomatology

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