Context: Early diagnosis of temperomandibular disorders (TMD) is important for prevention of further damage to the parts of the oro-facial system as early symptoms can be used as predictors of TMD.
Aim: To assess the frequency of symptoms of temperomandibular disorders among dental students in Ernakulam district, Kerala, using Fonseca questionnaire.
Settings and Design: A cross sectional study was conducted among dental students of various dental colleges in Ernakulam district. A convenience sampling method was used.
Materials and Methods: The participants were provided with questionnaire of Fonseca, which included
ten questions, which could be answered with yes, no and sometimes.
Statistical analysis used: The collected data was analyzed statistically using SPSS version 24. Descriptive statistics and chi square tests were used for the analysis.
Results: Among the 793 students who took part in the study (112 males and 681 females) 59.3% of the students had TMD according to the Fonseca index and among them almost 36% had mild TMD, 17.7% moderate TMD and only 5.8 % had severe TMD. The results also revealed that the sex of the individual did not significantly influence the severity of TMD (p value>0.05) whereas the influence of the age was found to be significant.
Conclusions: The prevalence of TMD was found to be higher in dental students. Further research involving large diverse populations may throw light on the prevalence and severity of TMD, which may pave ways for developing specific preventive and therapeutic protocols in managing TMD at an early stage.
Temperomandibular Disorders, Cross Sectional Study, Fonseca questionnaire.