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Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) is a group of neuromuscular or musculoskeletal problems that affect the muscles and fascia related to chewing and jaw opening. Patients are often seen in ENT clinics because of symptoms such as trismus, pain and muscle tension, and it is not unusual for TMD to co-occur with muscle tension dysphonia. Previous studies have reported a link between TMD and dysphonia, however this article presents the first study to consider the relationship between TMD and patient-reported voice-related quality of life (QOL). The team prospectively surveyed 53 patients being seen for TMD in a dentistry clinic with the Voice Handicap Index-30 (VHI-30). Although 42 of those surveyed scored above zero on the VHI-30, only three patients scored in the moderate-severe range for voice-related impairment of QOL, and the median values matched previous VHI controls. The subgroup scores indicated that the functional and physical domains were higher than the emotional, but all medians fell within normal range. Whilst it is of clinical interest that the majority of patients described some degree of voice-related QOL, this study suggests their issues are minimal. Further research with a larger sample size, prospective power calculation and control group would be helpful to explore these issues more closely.

Temporomandibular Dysfunction and Voice-Related Quality of Life Impairment.
Adessa M, Jahee K, Tierney WS, Benninger M.
2023:Early online.
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Gemma Clunie

BA (Hon), MSc, PhD, MRCSLT, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust; Honorary Research Fellow, Imperial College London, UK.

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