The current study explores the proposition that a treating clinician's etiologic model influences patients' reports of tooth grinding, the validity of, and subsequent research findings relying on these measures. The investigation compares self-reports of tooth grinding and related clinical variables for 151 cases of temporomandibular pain and dysfunction syndrome (TMPDS) treated by a clinician who does not explicitly support the grinding theory of the etiology of TMPDS, and 139 healthy controls. Cases were no more likely than well controls to report ever-grinding, but were actually significantly less likely than well controls to report current grinding. They were also significantly more likely to report that a dentist had told them they ground. Findings suggest that studies using self-report, clinician-report of tooth grinding (or both) are methodologically inadequate for addressing the relationship between tooth grinding and TMPDS.
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