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Post-traumatic stress disorder and temporomandibular dysfunction: a review and clinical implications

Dyna Mara Araújo Oliveira Ferreira Camila Cristine de Oliveira Vaz Juliana Stuginski-Barbosa Paulo César Rodrigues Conti About the authors



Post-traumatic stress disorder is a disabling disorder that can be developed after a person has experienced or exposed to a traumatic event. The evidence shows the coexistence between post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic painful conditions as the temporomandibular dysfunction. This study aimed to review the literature to describe the coexistence relation between post-traumatic stress disorder and temporomandibular dysfunction.


A non-systematic search was carried on the Pubmed, BVS and LILACS databases on studies evaluating the relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder and temporomandibular dysfunction. Clinical studies published in the last 10 years that presented a diagnostic criterion validated for temporomandibular dysfunction and the post-traumatic stress disorder were selected. Six studies were included in the review. The results showed that the post-traumatic stress disorder often occurs in patients with temporomandibular dysfunction and, at the same time, a higher prevalence of temporomandibular dysfunction is found in individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder. There is a trend for a larger connection between post-traumatic stress disorder and muscular pain than pain in the temporomandibular joint. The presence of post-traumatic stress disorder modulates the level of physical, psychological and behavioral involvement in individuals with temporomandibular dysfunction, and can predict the onset of this painful conditions.


The review shows a complex coexistence between post-traumatic stress disorder and painful temporomandibular dysfunction.

Psychological trauma; Stress disorders; Temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome; Trauma

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