cp and tmj

The following article shows that the presence of spastic cerebral palsy increased the likelihood of TMJ signs and symptoms over nine fold!  You would think that the researchers would then ask the obvious question as to whether TMJ increases risk of cerebral palsy.  But they didn’t.  And no one has asked that until now.

Dr. Jennings

J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2011 Spring;35(3):259-63.

Prevalence and risk indicators of temporomandibular disorder signs and symptoms in a pediatric population with spastic cerebral palsy.


Department of Clinical Dentistry, Universidade Vale do Rio Verde – UNINCOR, Três Corações, MG, Brazil.



To determine risk indicators for signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) in children with cerebral palsy (n = 60) and control subjects (n = 60).


The subjects were assessed by means of questionnaire and clinical exam: 1) signs and symptoms of TMD; 2) malocclusions [Dental Aesthetic Index (DAI)]; 3) harmful habits; and 4) bio-psychosocial characteristics. Statistical analysis involved the chi-square, Fisher’s exact tests (p < or = 0.05) and multivariate logistic regression (forward stepwise procedure). Variables that achieved a p-value < or = 0.20 were used as potential predictors of signs and symptoms of TMD and applied as co-variables in the multivariate analysis.


The prevalence of at least one sign and/or symptom of TMD in the present sample was 1.7% (n = 1) among the individuals in the control group and 13.3% (n = 8) among the individuals with cerebral palsy. The presence of cerebral palsy (Odds Ratio: 9.08; p = 0.041), male gender (OR: 6.21; p = 0.027), severity of the malocclusion (OR: 4.75; p = 0.031), mouth breathing (OR: 5.40; p = 0.022) and mixed dentition (OR: 4.73; p = 0.035) were identified as risk indicators for signs and symptoms of TMD.


It was concluded that children with cerebral palsy had a significantly greater chance of developing signs and symptoms of TMD.



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