Baltic Dental and Maxillofacial Journal
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March, 2007, Vol. 9, No. 1



Current concepts on the functional somatic syndromes and temporomandibular disorders

General health of dentists. Literature review

A pilot study of Er,Cr:YSGG laser therapy used as an adjunct to scaling and root planing in patients with early and moderate periodontitis

A three-dimensional model of the human masticatory system, including the mandible, the dentition and the temporomandibular joints

© 2007 Stomatologija

Stomatologija 2007; 9 (1): 3-9 176 KB

Current concepts on the functional somatic syndromes and temporomandibular disorders

Francesco Fantoni, Giovanni Salvetti, Daniele Manfredini, Mario Bosco


Background. The importance of psychosocial factors in the etiopathogenesis of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) has led to the hypothesis that these disorders may be part of a wider group of somatoform disorders, the functional somatic syndromes (FSS).

Types of studies reviewed. The present paper is an overview summarizing the current concepts on the TMD-FSS relationship. A non-systematic search in the Medline database identified peer-reviewed papers on the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the complex groups of disorders labelled functional somatic syndromes, focusing on the common features to temporomandibular disorders patients.

Results. Literature data suggest that FSS and TMD share many etiopathogenetic and epidemiological features, both groups of disorders having a multifactorial etiopathogenesis and needing a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis and treatment. Psychosocial characteristics of patients seem to have many similarities and the prevalence of Axis I psychiatric disorders is elevated. The majority of studies focused on the relationship between TMD and fibromyalgia (FM), due to the high rate of orofacial involvement related to FM.

Clinical implications. The presence of common features between TMD and FSS patient may suggest the need for changes in the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to TMD patients, with the introduction of treatment protocols which also address the psychosocial impairment accompanying TMD symptoms, in order to overcome the limits of traditional therapies.

Key words: temporomandibular disorders; functional somatic syndromes; somatoform disorders; epidemiology; fibromaylgia; clinical features.

Received: 04 02 2007

Accepted for publishing: 29 03 2007

1Section of Prosthetic Dentistry, Department of Neuroscience, University of Pisa, Italy

2Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Padova, Italy

Francesco Fantoni1 – D.D.S., research fellow

Giovanni Salvetti1 – D.D.S., research fellow

Daniele Manfredini2 – D.D.S., visiting professor in craniomandibular disorders

Mario Bosco1 – D.D.S., professor in prosthetic dentistry

Address correspondence to: Dr. Daniele Manfredini, V.le XX Settembre 298, 54036 Marina di Carrara (MS), Italy.