Association of bruxism and anxiety symptoms among military firefighters with frequent episodic tension type headache and temporomandibular disorders

ABSTRACT Objective To assess the presence of bruxism and anxiety among military firefighters with frequent episodic tension-type headache and painful temporomandibular disorders (TMDs). Methods The sample consisted of 162 individuals aged 18 to 55 years divided into four groups. Headache was diagnosed in accordance with the International Classification of Headache Disorders-III. The Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders questionnaire was used to classify TMDs and awake bruxism; sleep bruxism was diagnosed in accordance with the International Classification of Sleep Disorders-3; and anxiety was classified using the Beck Anxiety Inventory. In statistical models, a significance level of 95% was used. The chi-square test was used to assess anxiety. Results Associations were found among frequent episodic tension-type headache, painful TMDs, awake bruxism and anxiety (p < 0.0005). Sleep bruxism was not a risk factor (p = 0.119) except when associated with awake bruxism (p = 0.011). Conclusion Anxiety and awake bruxism were independent risk factors for developing frequent episodic tension-type headache associated with painful TMDs; only awake bruxism was a risk factor for frequent episodic tension-type headache with non-painful TMDs.