Evidence-based review on temporomandibular disorders among musicians

M.K.A. van Selms, J. Ahlberg, F. Lobbezoo, C.M. Visscher

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background. Playing a musical instrument that loads the masticatory system has frequently been linked to temporomandibular disorders (TMDs). Previous literature reviews on this topic do not conform to the current standards of evidence-based medicine.
Aims. To investigate the effects of playing a musical instrument (i.e. violin/viola and wind instruments) or singing on the presence of TMDs, based on evidence derived from observational studies.
Methods. Databases of Medline, Web of Science and Google Scholar were searched using MeSH and other relevant terms. For each study, a quality assessment was undertaken using a modified version of the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS).
Results. Fifteen relevant papers were identified for inclusion in this review. Of the seven possible points that could be scored with the NOS, the majority of these studies scored under half. Based on the available evidence, the purported relationship between the playing of specific musical instruments and TMDs was not as evident as reported in previous literature reviews.
Conclusions. There is limited evidence to conclude that playing a wind instrument is a hazard to the temporomandibular system. Furthermore, there is no available evidence to suggest that vocalists experience more TMDs than controls. The studies that investigated the presence of TMDs among violists and violinists yielded ambiguous outcomes; some studies reported no association between the playing of these instruments and the presence of signs and symptoms of TMDs, whereas in studies where a clinical examination was performed (though of lower methodological quality), an association was found.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-343
Number of pages8
JournalOccupational Medicine
Volume67
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

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