The knowledge level of dental surgeons regarding the relationship between occlusal factors and Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)

AbstractIntroductionThe relationship between dental occlusion and temporomandibular disorders (TMD) remains a subject of disagreement. Many professionals erroneously base diagnosis and treatment strictly on the occlusal factor, despite the fact that current scientific evidence does not show such a relationship.ObjectiveTo evaluate the knowledge of dental surgeons (DSs) from João Pessoa (PB)-Brazil, regarding the relationship between occlusal factors and TMD.Materials and methodA sample of 100 DSs who do not have expertise in TMD and orofacial pain (CG Group) and seven DSs with this specialty (EG Group) completed a questionnaire that addresses issues concerning knowledge of TMD and its relationship with occlusal factors. The questionnaire also contained information used to characterize the sample, such as age, gender, and length of experience. The current literature's degree of consensus was established as the "gold standard" response for each statement and was compared with the responses of the specialists and non-specialists. Data were tabulated using the SPSS software package and analyzed descriptively (by percentage) and statistically using the chi-square and Fisher's exact tests (p < 0.05).ResultA wide divergence could be observed between the knowledge of DSs who do not specialize in TMD and orofacial pain and that of professionals who do.ConclusionThere was low agreement between specialists and non-specialists. The relationship between dental occlusion and TMD remains unclear for the vast majority of participating professionals, which may prove to be reflected in diagnostic behaviors and inappropriate occlusal treatment for the management of TMD.