Oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) instruments provide information beyond what is represented in their summary scores. Individual item information also provides useful insight into patient-related oral health problems. Our study aim was to compare patients’ perceived impact from temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and from dental anxiety on oral health using item profiles contained within the Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP).
We measured OHRQoL using the German version of the 14-item OHIP in 416 TMD patients, 173 dental anxiety patients, and 2,026 general population subjects.
Dental anxiety patients demonstrated the highest mean OHIP summary scores, i.e., the worst OHRQoL (22.4 in anxiety patients, 14.0 in TMD patients, 4.1 in general population; P < 0.001). The prevalence of frequently occurring responses of the individual items was 6–62% in dental anxiety patients, 3–40% in TMD patients, and 0.2–0.4% in the general population. The item prevalence of both patient groups was very similar for functional and pain-related OHRQoL domains. Dental anxiety patients indicated problems more frequently than TMD patients in the OHIP domains of psychological discomfort and psychological disability.
This insight into patients’ perceived oral health provided by OHIP item profiles may be important for patient diagnosis and outcome assessment in the clinical setting.