The socio-economic and psychological factors and the use of and need for dental prostheses have been associated with prevalence and severity of temporomandibular disorders (TMD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of socio-economic and psychological factors, use of and need for dental prostheses with the prevalence and severity of signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorders (TMD). A cross-sectional study was conducted in Luzerna/Brazil. All individuals aged 35–44 (adults) and 65–74 (elders) were invited to participate in this study. The measuring instrument included a questionnaire application and the clinical evaluation regarding signs and symptoms of TMD. Descriptive analyses, chi-squared test, unadjusted and adjusted Poisson regression were used for the statistic analysis. The level of statistical significance was given when P ≤ 0·05. In total, 568 individuals (338 adults and 230 elders) were included; among them, 43·5% had absent, 42·6% mild, 11·3% moderate and 2·6% severe TMD. The presence of higher TMD rates was found in females (P = 0·001), and the TMD occurrence increased with anxiety level (P = 0·001). Other socio-economic factors, such as colour (P = 0·115), family structure (P = 0·478), age (P = 0·143), social class (P = 0·935) and education (P = 0·678) showed no influence. In conclusion, the female gender and individuals with higher levels of anxiety had increased prevalence of signs and symptoms of TMD. Additionally, was not founded association between TMD and use of and need for dental prostheses.