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Orofacial Problems in Musicians: A Review of the Literature

F.J. Rodríguez-Lozano, M.R. Sáez-Yuguero, A. Bermejo-Fenoll
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 26 Number 3: Page 150 (September 2011)

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Abstract: Objectives: The objective of our study was to review the different pathologies of the stomatognathic system that can present in musicians as a result of playing their instruments. Design: The National Library of Medicine's PubMed database was searched to identify all peer-reviewed articles in the English literature dealing with orofacial problems in musicians, using both subject headings such as MeSH terms (PubMed) and free text words in combination (oral, musician, violin, wind instruments, vocalists, orthodontic, tooth, temporomandibular disorders [TMD]). The identified studies were assessed independently by two authors. We included any instruments that involved the orofacial area: i.e., wind and brass instruments, vocalists, and violins and violas. Results: Thirty-two articles were selected that were of many different types (clinical reviews, longitudinal and transverse studies of therapeutic procedures, case-control studies). Among orofacial problems, the most common disorders that affect musicians are TMDs, herpes simplex virus infections, orthodontic problems, and problems with perioral musculature. Conclusions: Musicians may suffer from pathological conditions that are worsened by their occupation due to excessive practice and stress. These conditions can cause permanent injuries that subsequently prevent the musicians from playing. Depending on the characteristics of the musical instrument and the way it is played, professional musicians generally show a propensity for buccodental problems.

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