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Painful Jaw Condition May Be Intensified in People With Interstitial Cystitis and Other Comorbidities

Dahan H, Shir Y, Velly A, Allison P. Specific and number of comorbidities are associated with increased levels of temporomandibular pain intensity and duration. J Headache Pain. 2015 Dec;16:528. doi: 10.1186/s10194-015-0528-2. Epub 2015 May 20.

According to this study, interstitial cystitis (IC) might be one contributing factor to the duration and intensity of pain associated with temporomandibular pain disorder (TMD), a commonly reported pain condition that typically affects the jaw joint along with the muscles and tissues that surround it. Researchers already know that some pain conditions, namely fibromyalgia and migraine, are associated with increased pain intensity and duration in people with TMD. In this new study, researchers looked more closely at the variety of comorbidities that patients reported. The study included 180 people seeking treatment for TMD at clinics in Boston and Montreal who filled out questionnaires asking about comorbidities including migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, and interstitial cystitis. Investigators found that patients who reported more comorbidities tended to have more intense and longer lasting TMD pain than people who reported fewer comorbidities. Some comorbidities seemed to stand out; in particular, the presence of migraine seemed to increase TMD pain intensity, while chronic fatigue syndrome increased not only the intensity, but also the duration, of TMD-related pain.