• myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome;
  • pain;
  • temporomandibular joint;
  • temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome

Structured Abstract

Authors –  Oakley M, Vieira AR

Objectives –  Review the literature on candidate genes for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

Setting and Sample Population –  Literature review.

Materials and Methods –  Two basic approaches were used to obtain literature in any language regarding genes and TMD. First, Medline, Embase, and Science Citation Index databases were searched using the keywords ‘temporomandibular joint disorder’ and ‘temporomandibular joint dysfunction’ for studies published from 1966 to 2007. Then, the references list of the studies obtained in the database was also considered.

Results –  Candidate genes for TMD include genes for individual variations in pain perception, gender and ethnicity, proinflammatory cytokines, female hormones, breakdown of extracellular matrix, and syndromic forms of TMD.

Conclusion –  Most of the studies on genetic variation contributing to TMD are approaching the disease mainly from an immune-inflammatory perspective. Recent investigations of the genetic variables which may predict identifiable levels of pain perception may uncover new approaches to our traditional treatment modalities for the chronic pain patient.