Temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome and police work stress: an integrative review

Giselle Urbani Eliana Napoleão Cozendey-Silva Lêda Freitas de Jesus About the authors

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate whether stress found in activities performed by Brazilian police workers is associated with the risk of developing a temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome (TMD), a disorder that is commonly associated with stressful conditions. An integrative literature review on stress, TMD and police work was carried out. We identified several stressors in the work of Brazilian police officers and observed that stress influences the development, aggravation and treatment of TMD symptoms. The quality of life and health of TMD carriers is compromised. The fact that studies have shown the association between stress and activities carried out by Brazilian police officers, as well as between stress and TMD, has led to the assumption of a possible relationship between stress caused by police work and the risk of these workers developing TMD. It is recommended that individuals be thoroughly examined before being treated and that such treatment be multidisciplinary. The literature on TMD in police workers is still incipient, which is why we recommend the development of further studies on the topic.

Occupational stress; Temporomandibular joint dysfunction; Police officers; Worker’s health

Introduction

Stress is part of the physiological nature of the human being and is associated with the individual’s adaptive capacity in the face of a relevant event or situation11. Oliveira PLM, Bardagi MP. Estresse e comprometimento com a carreira em policiais militares. Bol Psicol 2009; 59(131):153-166.. However, when stress becomes intense or persistent, exceeding the individual’s physical, cognitive and emotional capacity to cope with the stressful situations, it will generate a disorganizing effect in the organism and can lead to a pathological condition22. Marras JP. Estresse ocupacional. Rio de Janeiro: Elsevier; 2012..

The temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome (TMD)33. Martins RJ, Garcia AR, Garbin CAS, Sundefeld MLMM. Associação entre classe econômica e estresse na ocorrência da disfunção temporomandibular. Rev. Bras. Epidemiol. 2007; 10(2):215-222 is a term used to characterize a group of diseases that affect the masticatory muscles, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and adjacent structures44. Donnarumma MDC, Muzilli CA, Ferreira C, Nemr K. Disfunções temporomandibulares: sinais, sintomas e abordagem multidisciplinar. Rev. CEFAC 2010; 12(5):788-794.. TMD patients evidence symptoms ranging from discomfort, such as cracking joint, muscle tenderness and limited mouth opening55. Figueiredo VM, Cavalcanti AL, Farias ABL, Nascimento SR. Prevalência de sinais, sintomas e fatores associados em portadores de disfunção temporomandibular. Acta Scientiarum. Helth Sciences 2009; 31(2):159-163., to profoundly disabling symptoms, such as orofacial pain and difficulties in the masticatory function44. Donnarumma MDC, Muzilli CA, Ferreira C, Nemr K. Disfunções temporomandibulares: sinais, sintomas e abordagem multidisciplinar. Rev. CEFAC 2010; 12(5):788-794.. Also, otologic symptoms are noted, such as tinnitus, otalgia, dizziness/vertigo, hearing fullness, hypoacusis and hyperacusis66. Hilgenberg PB. Estudo da participação de sinais e sintomas de Disfunção Temporomandibular (DTM) e sintomas otológicos em pacientes portadores de zumbido subjetivo [dissertação]. Bauru: Universidade e São Paulo; 2007.. All these factors interfere in the daily social and work activities of the individual, as well as in their emotional and physical health77. Campi LB, Camparis CM, Jordani PC, Gonçalves DAG. Influência de abordagens biopsicossociais e autocuidados no controle das disfunções temporomandibulares crônicas. Rev. Dor 2013;14(3):219-222..

The scientific literature points to work as a vital source of stress11. Oliveira PLM, Bardagi MP. Estresse e comprometimento com a carreira em policiais militares. Bol Psicol 2009; 59(131):153-166.,88. Sadir MA, Bignotto MM, Lipp MEN. Stress e qualidade de vida: influência de algumas variáveis pessoais. Paidéia 2010; 20(45):73-81., where there is a theoretical distinction about stress acting, or being perceived as a positive source of motivation (eustress), when some individuals experience feelings of self-confidence, optimism, robustness to overcome challenges99. Rossi AM, Perrewe PL, Sauter SL. Stress e Qualidade de Vida no Trabalho. Perspectivas atuais da saúde ocupacional. São Paulo: Atlas; 2012.. Conversely, Rossi et al.99. Rossi AM, Perrewe PL, Sauter SL. Stress e Qualidade de Vida no Trabalho. Perspectivas atuais da saúde ocupacional. São Paulo: Atlas; 2012. denominate as distress the one related to the perceived stimuli as “negative stress”, associated with the prevailing sensation of frustration, excess of fatigue and feeling unable to control situations or facts, causing physical and emotional imbalances.

This paper is in the field of Occupational Health, with due connotation in Brazil, which can be understood as “a body of interdisciplinary – technical, social, human – and interinstitutional theoretical practices, developed by different actors located in different and informed social places from a common perspective”.1010. Minayo-Gomez C, Thedim-Costa SMF. A construção do campo da saúde do trabalhador: percurso e dilemas. Cad Saude Publica 1997; 13(Supl. 2):21-32. It addresses the individual and organizational aspects of work-related stressors, sources of distress, because of their association with reduced quality of life and higher costs for individuals, organizations and society1111. Mendonça MB, Solano AF. A pragmática do stress: conceitos e releituras no ambiente empresarial. Revista Eletrônica “Diálogos Acadêmicos” 2013; 04(1):57-67.,1212. Balassiano M, Tavares E, Pimenta RC. Estresse ocupacional na administração pública Brasileira: quais os fatores impactantes? Rev. Adm. Pública 2011; 45(3):751-774.

In this context, some studies have exposed the situation of vulnerability, which generates a high degree of stress, in which Brazilian public security staff work, and also drawn the attention to the need for studies and actions that contribute to changing this situation11. Oliveira PLM, Bardagi MP. Estresse e comprometimento com a carreira em policiais militares. Bol Psicol 2009; 59(131):153-166.,1313. Costa M, Accioly Júnior H, Oliveira J, Maia E. Estresse: diagnóstico dos policiais militares em uma cidade brasileira. Rev Panam Salud Publica 2007; 21(4):217-222.

14. Minayo MCS, Souza ER, Constantino P. Riscos percebidos e vitimização de policiais civis e militares na (in)segurança pública. Cad Saude Publica 2007; 23(11):2767-2779.
-1515. Andrade ER, Sousa ER, Minayo MCS. Intervenção visando a auto-estima e qualidade de vida dos policiais civis do Rio de Janeiro. Cien Saude Colet 2009; 14(1):275-285..

Considering that stress is directly related to TMD33. Martins RJ, Garcia AR, Garbin CAS, Sundefeld MLMM. Associação entre classe econômica e estresse na ocorrência da disfunção temporomandibular. Rev. Bras. Epidemiol. 2007; 10(2):215-222,1616. Goyatá FR, Taira NV, Almeida S, Martin e Silva D, Taira CV. Avaliação de sinais e sintomas de Disfunção Temporomandibular entre os acadêmicos do curso de Odontologia da Universidade Severino Sombra, Vassouras-RJ. Int. J Dent. 2010; 9(4):181-187. and that the police officers’ work process generates stress1515. Andrade ER, Sousa ER, Minayo MCS. Intervenção visando a auto-estima e qualidade de vida dos policiais civis do Rio de Janeiro. Cien Saude Colet 2009; 14(1):275-285., this study aimed to investigate whether the stress found in the activities of Brazilian police workers may be related to the development of TMD, a disease commonly associated with stressful conditions.

Methods

This is a qualitative, exploratory and descriptive study developed through an integrative review of the literature on stress, TMD and activities of police workers. The research was guided by the following questions: What sources of stress are related to the activities performed by police workers? What is the importance of stress in the etiology of TMD?

The scientific production was retrieved from the Latin American and Caribbean Literature in Health Sciences (Lilacs), Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO), Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System online (Medline) and the Virtual Library in Health of the Ministry of Health (BVS/MS). Considering that the subject, particularly TMD, is less explored in public health, course completion papers (dissertation and monographies), available in Google Scholar, that were pertinent and could support the questions raised by the study were also used.

In order to retrieve the information, we used terms that are controlled and indexed in Descriptors in Health Sciences (DeCS), and their combinations in the Portuguese and English languages: “occupational stress”, “temporomandibular joint syndrome”, “police”, “etiology” and “risk”. Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) were used in the combination of descriptors to increase sensitivity (retrieval of studies aligned with the research questions) and avoid studies addressing TMD therapeutic procedures.

Inclusion criteria were applied as follows: publication between 2005-2014, full-text papers published in Portuguese and English. Also, in order to be eligible, studies should address TMD issues and the occupation/activity of Brazilian police officers; and, raise discussion or information that would fit the guiding questions of this study. We chose studies with Brazilian police officers since the authors assume that the reality of public security in Brazil may be different from that in other countries.

For purposes of critical analysis, the selected papers were organized into three categories: (1) sources of occupational stress in police workers; (II) stress as an etiological or risk factor for the development of TMD, regardless of the professional category; and (III) stress as a risk factor for the development of TMD in a study population of police workers.

The synthesis of the scientific production and critical analysis of the contributions on the subject were used to describe and correlate the data to investigate the relationship between the police activity’s stress and the risk of TMD occurrence in this population. Although the focus of the study is the Brazilian police, works from other countries were used in the discussion to expand the analysis of the findings.

Table 1 shows the synthesis of the scientific production retrieved, according to the databases, and used according to the inclusion criteria. The final sample consisted of 26 materials, between papers and final works of postgraduate studies (dissertation and monography).

Table 1
Synthesis of scientific production retrieved and used.

Results

Of the total of 383 jobs recovered, only 26 were classified in the categories analyzed. The boxes shown next summarize the main findings of the research, by author, year, documentary type, type of study, the primary objective of the work and the main factors found on stress, TMD and police.

Chart 1 shows the synthesis of the primary sources of occupational stress in the Brazilian police officers, as pointed out by the scientific production. In this category of analysis, eleven work works were used, which mainly address stress in public security workers.

Chart 1
Sources of occupational stress in police workers, 2005-2014.

As can be verified in the studies, police activity carries several stressors, namely: pressure, responsibility, work overload, inefficient work infrastructure, personal and third-party life risk, authoritarian environment, centralized decisions, besides dissatisfaction with the profession due to low salaries and non-recognition of their work11. Oliveira PLM, Bardagi MP. Estresse e comprometimento com a carreira em policiais militares. Bol Psicol 2009; 59(131):153-166.,1414. Minayo MCS, Souza ER, Constantino P. Riscos percebidos e vitimização de policiais civis e militares na (in)segurança pública. Cad Saude Publica 2007; 23(11):2767-2779.,1717. Dela Coleta ASM, Dela Coleta MF. Fatores de estresse ocupacional e coping entre policiais civis. Psico-USF 2008; 13(1):59-68.,1818. Gomes R, Souza ER. A identidade de policiais civis e sucessivos espelhamentos. Cien Saude Colet 2013; 18(3):601-610.. Souza and Minayo1919. Souza ER, Minayo MCS. Policial, risco como profissão: morbimortalidade vinculada ao trabalho. Cien Saude Colet 2005; 10(4):917-928 highlighted the increased victimization of public security workers.

Among the elements that generate stress, organizational and operational issues of work are cited as damaging to police welfare1414. Minayo MCS, Souza ER, Constantino P. Riscos percebidos e vitimização de policiais civis e militares na (in)segurança pública. Cad Saude Publica 2007; 23(11):2767-2779.,2020. Bezerra CM, Minayo MC, Constantino P. Estresse ocupacional em mulheres policiais. Cien Saude Colet 2013; 18(3):657-666.,2121. Spode CB, Merlo ARC. Trabalho policial e saúde mental: uma pesquisa junto aos Capitães da Polícia Militar. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. 2006; 19(3):362-370.. Likewise, police officers understand that society and government do not recognize the work performed by the service of public safety, which according to them leads to the devaluation of the profession, and in turn generates stress1717. Dela Coleta ASM, Dela Coleta MF. Fatores de estresse ocupacional e coping entre policiais civis. Psico-USF 2008; 13(1):59-68.,1818. Gomes R, Souza ER. A identidade de policiais civis e sucessivos espelhamentos. Cien Saude Colet 2013; 18(3):601-610.,2121. Spode CB, Merlo ARC. Trabalho policial e saúde mental: uma pesquisa junto aos Capitães da Polícia Militar. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. 2006; 19(3):362-370.. Some police officers carry out another professional activity in their spare time, which translates into little time available to rest and have an adequate diet1414. Minayo MCS, Souza ER, Constantino P. Riscos percebidos e vitimização de policiais civis e militares na (in)segurança pública. Cad Saude Publica 2007; 23(11):2767-2779.,2222. Minayo MCS, Assis SG, Oliveira RVC. Impacto das atividades profissionais na saúde física e mental dos policiais civis e militares do Rio de Janeiro (RJ, Brasil). Cien Saude Colet 2011; 16(4):2199-2209..

Studies have shown a high level of stress among policewomen, caused by discrimination, the working woman’s workload and the physiological and psychological features of women who, as the authors would have it, make them more susceptible to stress1313. Costa M, Accioly Júnior H, Oliveira J, Maia E. Estresse: diagnóstico dos policiais militares em uma cidade brasileira. Rev Panam Salud Publica 2007; 21(4):217-222..

However, despite being unhealthy and risky, police activity has few alternatives to ease the stress it generates1515. Andrade ER, Sousa ER, Minayo MCS. Intervenção visando a auto-estima e qualidade de vida dos policiais civis do Rio de Janeiro. Cien Saude Colet 2009; 14(1):275-285..

Chart 2 shows the synthesis for category (II), consisted of 11 papers (10 papers and 01 monography) that address stress as an etiological or risk factor for the development of TMD, regardless of the professional category.

Chart 2
Stress as an etiological or risk factor for the development of TMD, 2005-2014.

TMD is a syndrome whose carriers may range from simple discomfort55. Figueiredo VM, Cavalcanti AL, Farias ABL, Nascimento SR. Prevalência de sinais, sintomas e fatores associados em portadores de disfunção temporomandibular. Acta Scientiarum. Helth Sciences 2009; 31(2):159-163. to painful and sometimes disabling symptoms. Among the etiological and risk factors for TMD is stress, and there is proper documentation of the relationship between the development of the syndrome and the presence of stress33. Martins RJ, Garcia AR, Garbin CAS, Sundefeld MLMM. Associação entre classe econômica e estresse na ocorrência da disfunção temporomandibular. Rev. Bras. Epidemiol. 2007; 10(2):215-222,1616. Goyatá FR, Taira NV, Almeida S, Martin e Silva D, Taira CV. Avaliação de sinais e sintomas de Disfunção Temporomandibular entre os acadêmicos do curso de Odontologia da Universidade Severino Sombra, Vassouras-RJ. Int. J Dent. 2010; 9(4):181-187.,2424. Bortolleto PPB, Manfredi APSM, Madureira PR. Análise dos hábitos parafuncionais e associação com Disfunção das Articulações Temporomandibulares. Rev Assoc Paul Cir Dent 2013; 67(3):216-221.

25. Manfredi APS, Bortolleto PPB, Silva AA, Araújo IEM, Araújo S, Vendite LL. Enviromental stress and temporomandibular disorder (TMD) among members of a public university in Brazil. Braz J Oral Sci 2006; 5(18):1074-1078.

26. Monteiro DR, Zuim PRJ, Pesqueira AA, Ribeiro PP, Garcia AR. Relationship between anxiety and chronic orofacial pain of Temporomandibular Disorder in a group of university students. J Prosthodont Res 2011; 55(3):154-158.
-2727. Schmidt CM. Disfunção temporomandibular associado ao estresse [monografia]. Piracicaba: Universidade Estadual de Campinas; 2007.. There are citations of bruxism, a sign of stress, as a risk factor for TMD2424. Bortolleto PPB, Manfredi APSM, Madureira PR. Análise dos hábitos parafuncionais e associação com Disfunção das Articulações Temporomandibulares. Rev Assoc Paul Cir Dent 2013; 67(3):216-221.,2828. Michelotti A1, Cioffi I, Festa P, Scala G, Farella M. Oral parafunctions as risk factors for diagnostic TMD subgroups. J. Oral Rehabil 2010; 37(3):157-162.. TMD adversely affects the quality of life, health and work of those who suffer from the disease because of the pain it causes55. Figueiredo VM, Cavalcanti AL, Farias ABL, Nascimento SR. Prevalência de sinais, sintomas e fatores associados em portadores de disfunção temporomandibular. Acta Scientiarum. Helth Sciences 2009; 31(2):159-163.,77. Campi LB, Camparis CM, Jordani PC, Gonçalves DAG. Influência de abordagens biopsicossociais e autocuidados no controle das disfunções temporomandibulares crônicas. Rev. Dor 2013;14(3):219-222.,2929. Biasotto-Gonzalez DA, Mendes PCC, Jesus LA, Martins MD. Qualidade de vida em portadores de disfunção temporomandibular – um estudo transversal. Rev Ins. Ciênc Saúde 2009; 27(2):128-132.,3030. Kuroiwa DN, Marinelli JG, Rampani MS, Oliveira W, Nicodemo D. Desordens temporomandibulares e dor orofacial: estudo da qualidade de vida medida pelo Medical Outcomes Study 36 - Item Short Form Health Survey. Rev. dor 2011; 12(2):93-98. and is a disease more commonly found in women2727. Schmidt CM. Disfunção temporomandibular associado ao estresse [monografia]. Piracicaba: Universidade Estadual de Campinas; 2007.. Psychosocial factors may make pain caused by TMD77. Campi LB, Camparis CM, Jordani PC, Gonçalves DAG. Influência de abordagens biopsicossociais e autocuidados no controle das disfunções temporomandibulares crônicas. Rev. Dor 2013;14(3):219-222. a chronic one.

In Chart 3, referring to category III, four papers and one dissertation were included, totaling five studies that explain stress or its manifestations as a risk factor for TMD in police officers. Only jobs in which the study population consisted of military police officers were found. However, it should be noted that both activities carried out by military police and those carried out by civilian police have similarities and peculiarities.

Chart 3
Stress as a risk factor for the development of TMD in a study population of police workers.

Among the studies on TMD on police officers found by this study, some had a dental focus2323. Caria PHF, Faria RJA, Faria CRS, Croci CS, Negrão Filho R. Efficiency of occlusal splints on police officers with TMD. Braz. J. Oral Sci. 2014; 13(4):292-296.,3131. Faria RJA. Avaliação clínica e eletromiográfica de músculos da mastigação, em policiais militares com DTM, antes e após o uso de dispositivos inter-oclusais [dissertação]. Campinas: Universidade Estadual de Campinas; 2006., but all the studies were unanimous in pointing out the professional category investigated as being very likely to develop chronic diseases and disorders such as TMD, due to the very high level of stress inherent to the profession2323. Caria PHF, Faria RJA, Faria CRS, Croci CS, Negrão Filho R. Efficiency of occlusal splints on police officers with TMD. Braz. J. Oral Sci. 2014; 13(4):292-296.,3131. Faria RJA. Avaliação clínica e eletromiográfica de músculos da mastigação, em policiais militares com DTM, antes e após o uso de dispositivos inter-oclusais [dissertação]. Campinas: Universidade Estadual de Campinas; 2006.

32. Cavalcanti MOA, Lima JMC, Batista AUD, Oliveira LMC, Lucena LBS. Grau de severidade da disfunção temporomandibular e hábitos parafuncionais em policiais militares. Rev. Gaúch. Odontol. 2011; 59(3):351-356.

33. Carvalho SCA, Carvalho ALA, Lucena SC, Coelho JPS, Araújo TPB. Associação entre bruxismo e estresse em policiais militares. Rev. Odonto. Ciênc. 2008; 23(2):125-129.
-3434. Graciola J, Silveira AM. Avaliação da Influência do Estresse na Prevalência de Disfunções Temporomandibulares em Militares Estaduais do Rio Grande do Sul. J. Oral Invest. 2013; 2(1):32-37..

Studies with police with TMD correlated the symptomatology of the syndrome with biopsychosocial symptoms, such as stress, sleep disorders, pain and smoking3333. Carvalho SCA, Carvalho ALA, Lucena SC, Coelho JPS, Araújo TPB. Associação entre bruxismo e estresse em policiais militares. Rev. Odonto. Ciênc. 2008; 23(2):125-129.,3434. Graciola J, Silveira AM. Avaliação da Influência do Estresse na Prevalência de Disfunções Temporomandibulares em Militares Estaduais do Rio Grande do Sul. J. Oral Invest. 2013; 2(1):32-37., as well as with parafunctional habits.

Discussion

The production of knowledge is a fundamental element for promoting health and improving the quality of life. In the face of the still incipient number of national and international publications on TMD in police officers, this work shows the need to develop research that provides information that increases the knowledge about the relationship between police activity and the development of the syndrome to analyze and intervene in the factors involved in the problem.

Factors generating occupational stressin police workers

Exposure to stressful working conditions can have a direct influence on the individual’s physical and emotional health. Occupational stress is established when the job requirements do not correspond to the worker’s skills, resources or needs88. Sadir MA, Bignotto MM, Lipp MEN. Stress e qualidade de vida: influência de algumas variáveis pessoais. Paidéia 2010; 20(45):73-81.. Oliveira and Bardagi’s study11. Oliveira PLM, Bardagi MP. Estresse e comprometimento com a carreira em policiais militares. Bol Psicol 2009; 59(131):153-166. reported psychological symptoms and, to a lesser degree, physical symptoms in military police officers diagnosed with stress, which, according to the authors, may be related to insecurity with the professional career that, in turn, results from a context of vulnerability in which military activity is inserted. In Italy, a study found an association between organizational issues of police work and emotional exhaustion/cynicism among workers, as well as between operational issues and psychosomatic symptoms3535. Setti I, Argentero P. The influence of operational and organizational stressors on the well-being of municipal police officers. Med Lav 2013; 104(5):368-379..

The environment, pressure and police work discipline mechanisms can hinder the relationship between colleagues and bosses, becoming agents of stress1717. Dela Coleta ASM, Dela Coleta MF. Fatores de estresse ocupacional e coping entre policiais civis. Psico-USF 2008; 13(1):59-68.,2020. Bezerra CM, Minayo MC, Constantino P. Estresse ocupacional em mulheres policiais. Cien Saude Colet 2013; 18(3):657-666.

21. Spode CB, Merlo ARC. Trabalho policial e saúde mental: uma pesquisa junto aos Capitães da Polícia Militar. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. 2006; 19(3):362-370.
-2222. Minayo MCS, Assis SG, Oliveira RVC. Impacto das atividades profissionais na saúde física e mental dos policiais civis e militares do Rio de Janeiro (RJ, Brasil). Cien Saude Colet 2011; 16(4):2199-2209..

Factors triggering stress in Brazilian police officers are also cited by police officers from Italy3535. Setti I, Argentero P. The influence of operational and organizational stressors on the well-being of municipal police officers. Med Lav 2013; 104(5):368-379., India3636. Singh S, Kar SK. Sources of occupational stress in the police personnel of North India: An exploratory study. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2015; 19(1):56-60., Malaysia3737. Masilamani R, Bulgiba A, Chinna K, Darus A, Isahak M, Kandiben S, Koh D. Prevalence and associated factors of stress in the Malaysian Police Force. Prev Med 2013; (Issue null):S57-S5, Australia3838. Noblet AJ, Rodwell JJ, Allisey AF. Police stress: the role of the psychological contract and perceptions of fairness. Policing 2009; 32(4):613-630. and the United States3939. Violanti JM, Fekedulegn D, Hartley TA, Andrew ME, Charles L, Tinney-Zara Cathy A, Burchfiel CM. Police Work Absence: An Analysis of Stress and Resiliency. J Law Enforc Leadersh Ethics 2014; 1(1):49-67., corroborating studies indicating that due to direct and constant contact with danger and violence, as well as by the in situations of conflict and tension, the police officers are the workers with the highest level of exposure to stress2020. Bezerra CM, Minayo MC, Constantino P. Estresse ocupacional em mulheres policiais. Cien Saude Colet 2013; 18(3):657-666.,2121. Spode CB, Merlo ARC. Trabalho policial e saúde mental: uma pesquisa junto aos Capitães da Polícia Militar. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. 2006; 19(3):362-370.,2323. Caria PHF, Faria RJA, Faria CRS, Croci CS, Negrão Filho R. Efficiency of occlusal splints on police officers with TMD. Braz. J. Oral Sci. 2014; 13(4):292-296., regardless of their country of residence. However, the number of police officers killed in Brazil is significantly higher when compared to developed and non-violent countries (Table 2), which suggests a situation of vulnerability, generating a high degree of stress for Brazilian workers in this professional category. Table 2 shows that, in 2015, deaths of police officers on duty in Brazil accounted for 0.03% of the total number of police workers, triple the percentage of deaths in the United States (0.01%) and 30 times that of the United Kingdom (0.001%)4040. Fórum Brasileiro de Segurança Pública (FBSP). Anuário Brasileiro de Segurança Pública. São Paulo: Edição X; 2016.

41. United Kingdom’s National Police Roll of Honour. Police Roll of Honour Trust. National Police Officers Roll of Honour and Remembrance - In Memory of British Police Officers who Lost their Lives in the Line of Duty. Annual Roll. London: United Kingdom’s National Police Roll of Honour; 2015.
-4242. Union Kingdom. Police workforce, England and Wales: 31 March 2015. London: Union Kingdom; 2015..

Table 2
Police officers killed on duty in relation to the total workforce - Brazil, United States and United Kingdom – 2015.

It should be emphasized that in Brazil there is an aggravation of the number of police officers (civil and military) who are homicide victims outside working hours, and the conditioning factor is the profession-related aspects. Data from the Brazilian Yearbook of Public Safety (2016)4040. Fórum Brasileiro de Segurança Pública (FBSP). Anuário Brasileiro de Segurança Pública. São Paulo: Edição X; 2016. reveal that such workers are killed almost three times more while off-duty (73.79%) than while on duty (26.21%), and that Brazilian police officers’ deaths were 113% those of American police officers while on duty, between 2009 and 20154040. Fórum Brasileiro de Segurança Pública (FBSP). Anuário Brasileiro de Segurança Pública. São Paulo: Edição X; 2016..

The strategies used by police officers to cope with stress include symptom management (self-control, family support, leisure, exercise, support in religion and positive attitude), avoidance (separating social life from work or isolating oneself), efficient behaviors at work (assuming, organizing and distributing tasks, solving problems without delay, seeking information and doing the best they can)1717. Dela Coleta ASM, Dela Coleta MF. Fatores de estresse ocupacional e coping entre policiais civis. Psico-USF 2008; 13(1):59-68.,2020. Bezerra CM, Minayo MC, Constantino P. Estresse ocupacional em mulheres policiais. Cien Saude Colet 2013; 18(3):657-666.. Absenteeism can also represent a strategy for coping with stress at work, with leave meaning a “day of mental health” or a change in the stressful routine3939. Violanti JM, Fekedulegn D, Hartley TA, Andrew ME, Charles L, Tinney-Zara Cathy A, Burchfiel CM. Police Work Absence: An Analysis of Stress and Resiliency. J Law Enforc Leadersh Ethics 2014; 1(1):49-67..

According to Minayo et al.2222. Minayo MCS, Assis SG, Oliveira RVC. Impacto das atividades profissionais na saúde física e mental dos policiais civis e militares do Rio de Janeiro (RJ, Brasil). Cien Saude Colet 2011; 16(4):2199-2209., as a result of aging, police officers accumulate effects associated with work stress, such as inadequate behavior, alcoholism, uncontrolled gambling, aggressive behavior, increased exposure to accidents, anxiety, insomnia, emotional outbursts and various types of chronic pain. This result shows the importance of the fight against stress to avoid the risk of increasing damages to the quality of life and health of police workers.

For the improvement of pain symptoms and discomfort, Campi et al.77. Campi LB, Camparis CM, Jordani PC, Gonçalves DAG. Influência de abordagens biopsicossociais e autocuidados no controle das disfunções temporomandibulares crônicas. Rev. Dor 2013;14(3):219-222. reported a positive approach to adopting approaches based on the biopsychosocial model of pain, through the application of educational methods and self-care in TMD.

Dåderman and Colli4343. Dåderman A, Colli D. The significance of the sense of coherence for various coping resources in stress situations used by police officers in on-the-beat servisse. IJOMEH 2014; 27(1):3-15. have recommended a greater focus of salutogenesis in research on workplaces with a high level of occupational stress since the enhanced forces opposing the disease stimulus could prevent the sickness of workers undergoing this type of condition.

Stress as an etiological or risk factor for the development of temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome

TMD is a multifactorial etiology syndrome, and stress is pointed as one of these factors. Studies have found a direct relationship between stress and TMD33. Martins RJ, Garcia AR, Garbin CAS, Sundefeld MLMM. Associação entre classe econômica e estresse na ocorrência da disfunção temporomandibular. Rev. Bras. Epidemiol. 2007; 10(2):215-222,1616. Goyatá FR, Taira NV, Almeida S, Martin e Silva D, Taira CV. Avaliação de sinais e sintomas de Disfunção Temporomandibular entre os acadêmicos do curso de Odontologia da Universidade Severino Sombra, Vassouras-RJ. Int. J Dent. 2010; 9(4):181-187.,2727. Schmidt CM. Disfunção temporomandibular associado ao estresse [monografia]. Piracicaba: Universidade Estadual de Campinas; 2007. since the syndrome is closely related to stressors such as depression, sleep disorder, psychiatric problems2727. Schmidt CM. Disfunção temporomandibular associado ao estresse [monografia]. Piracicaba: Universidade Estadual de Campinas; 2007. and anxiety1616. Goyatá FR, Taira NV, Almeida S, Martin e Silva D, Taira CV. Avaliação de sinais e sintomas de Disfunção Temporomandibular entre os acadêmicos do curso de Odontologia da Universidade Severino Sombra, Vassouras-RJ. Int. J Dent. 2010; 9(4):181-187.,2626. Monteiro DR, Zuim PRJ, Pesqueira AA, Ribeiro PP, Garcia AR. Relationship between anxiety and chronic orofacial pain of Temporomandibular Disorder in a group of university students. J Prosthodont Res 2011; 55(3):154-158.. In fact, the influence of stress does not occur only on the appearance of the disease, but also its progression and treatment4444. Kanehira H, Agariguchi A, Kato H, Yoshimine S, Inoue H. Association between Stress and Temporomandibular Disorder. J Jpn Prosthodont Soc 2008; 52(3):375-380.. In this context, the assessment of TMD patients must consider the influence of psychological factors4545. Mottaghi A, Razavi SM, Pozveh EZ, Jahangirmoghaddam M. Assessment of the relationship between stress and temporomandibular joint disorder in female students before university entrance exam (Konkour exam). DRJ 2011; 8(Supl. 1):S76-S79..

However, it is not a matter of fact that the mere presence of stress can sufficient to generate the occurrence of TMD. Studies indicate that, usually, a single factor alone is not sufficient to establish a TMD condition, but that the association between factors may converge to the development of some signs or symptoms of the syndrome77. Campi LB, Camparis CM, Jordani PC, Gonçalves DAG. Influência de abordagens biopsicossociais e autocuidados no controle das disfunções temporomandibulares crônicas. Rev. Dor 2013;14(3):219-222.,2525. Manfredi APS, Bortolleto PPB, Silva AA, Araújo IEM, Araújo S, Vendite LL. Enviromental stress and temporomandibular disorder (TMD) among members of a public university in Brazil. Braz J Oral Sci 2006; 5(18):1074-1078.,2727. Schmidt CM. Disfunção temporomandibular associado ao estresse [monografia]. Piracicaba: Universidade Estadual de Campinas; 2007.,4646. Sharma S, Gupta DS, Pal US, Jurel SK. Etiological factors of temporomandibular joint disorders. Natl J Maxillofac Surg 2011; 2(2):116-119..

Therefore, stress associated with intrinsic etiological (pathologies, bad joint formations, bad muscular formations) or extrinsic (occlusal problems, mechanical trauma, orthodontic treatments, accidents) factors can generate a functional imbalance in the biodynamics of TMJ and leave the individual predisposed to the onset of TMD33. Martins RJ, Garcia AR, Garbin CAS, Sundefeld MLMM. Associação entre classe econômica e estresse na ocorrência da disfunção temporomandibular. Rev. Bras. Epidemiol. 2007; 10(2):215-222,4646. Sharma S, Gupta DS, Pal US, Jurel SK. Etiological factors of temporomandibular joint disorders. Natl J Maxillofac Surg 2011; 2(2):116-119..

There is controversy over the role of dental malocclusion4747. Badel T, Marotti M, Savić Pavičin I, Bašić-Kes V. Temporomandibular disorders and occlusion. Acta Clin Croat 2012; 51(3):419-424;,4848. Luther F. TMD and occlusion part I. Damned if we do? Occlusion: the interface of dentistry and orthodontics. BDJ 2007; 202(1):E2-E2 and orthodontic treatment4949. Antoszewska AJ, Kosiore M. “Recent Reviews on the Influence of Orthodontic Treatment on the Appearance of Temporo-Mandibular Joints Dysfunction.” Dent. Med. Probl. 2012; 49(3):427-432.

50. Michelotti A, Iodice G. The role of orthodontics in temporomandibular disorders. J Oral Rehabil 2010; 37(6):411-429;
-5151. Leite RA, Rodrigues JF, Sakima MT, Sakima T. Relationship between temporomandibular disorders and orthodontic treatment: a literature review. Dental Press J Orthod 2013; 18(1):150-157. in the development of TMD. Thus, it may be appropriate to suggest that the development of future research on the relationship between stress and TMD should exclude from its study population those individuals who may have orthognathic issues or who have undergone orthodontic treatment.

It should be noted that TMD compromises the quality of life and general health of the individuals affected by the problem55. Figueiredo VM, Cavalcanti AL, Farias ABL, Nascimento SR. Prevalência de sinais, sintomas e fatores associados em portadores de disfunção temporomandibular. Acta Scientiarum. Helth Sciences 2009; 31(2):159-163.,77. Campi LB, Camparis CM, Jordani PC, Gonçalves DAG. Influência de abordagens biopsicossociais e autocuidados no controle das disfunções temporomandibulares crônicas. Rev. Dor 2013;14(3):219-222.,2929. Biasotto-Gonzalez DA, Mendes PCC, Jesus LA, Martins MD. Qualidade de vida em portadores de disfunção temporomandibular – um estudo transversal. Rev Ins. Ciênc Saúde 2009; 27(2):128-132., although many are not aware of the presence of the disease and the existence of treatment3232. Cavalcanti MOA, Lima JMC, Batista AUD, Oliveira LMC, Lucena LBS. Grau de severidade da disfunção temporomandibular e hábitos parafuncionais em policiais militares. Rev. Gaúch. Odontol. 2011; 59(3):351-356.. Thus, the individual patient must be evaluated and treated by a suggested multidisciplinary that consists of dental surgeons, psychologists, speech therapists, physiotherapists and neurologists, so as not to fragment health actions, due to the anatomical and functional complexity of the stomatognathic system (consisting of bone structures, temporomandibular joint, ligaments and masticatory muscles, glands and nerve and lymphatic vascular systems, as well as teeth and their structures) that, although with characteristics of its own, can influence and is influenced by the nervous, digestive, respiratory, circulatory and endocrine systems, for example5252. Castro MSJ, Toro AADC, Sakano E, Ribeiro JD. Avaliação das funções orofaciais do sistema estomatognático nos níveis de gravidade de asma. J. Soc. Bras. Fonoaudiol. 2012; 24(2):119-124.. According to the proposal of Kuroiwa et al.3030. Kuroiwa DN, Marinelli JG, Rampani MS, Oliveira W, Nicodemo D. Desordens temporomandibulares e dor orofacial: estudo da qualidade de vida medida pelo Medical Outcomes Study 36 - Item Short Form Health Survey. Rev. dor 2011; 12(2):93-98., providing comprehensive actions and better treatment to the individuals would improve their quality of life.

Stress as a risk factor for the development of temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome in police workers

Parafunctional habits such as bruxism (teeth grinding or tightening)2424. Bortolleto PPB, Manfredi APSM, Madureira PR. Análise dos hábitos parafuncionais e associação com Disfunção das Articulações Temporomandibulares. Rev Assoc Paul Cir Dent 2013; 67(3):216-221.,2626. Monteiro DR, Zuim PRJ, Pesqueira AA, Ribeiro PP, Garcia AR. Relationship between anxiety and chronic orofacial pain of Temporomandibular Disorder in a group of university students. J Prosthodont Res 2011; 55(3):154-158. and nail gnawing2525. Manfredi APS, Bortolleto PPB, Silva AA, Araújo IEM, Araújo S, Vendite LL. Enviromental stress and temporomandibular disorder (TMD) among members of a public university in Brazil. Braz J Oral Sci 2006; 5(18):1074-1078., whose contributing factor to their etiology is stress, are risk factors for the development of TMD, as shown in studies with police officers conducted by Carvalho et al.3333. Carvalho SCA, Carvalho ALA, Lucena SC, Coelho JPS, Araújo TPB. Associação entre bruxismo e estresse em policiais militares. Rev. Odonto. Ciênc. 2008; 23(2):125-129. and Cavalcanti et al.3232. Cavalcanti MOA, Lima JMC, Batista AUD, Oliveira LMC, Lucena LBS. Grau de severidade da disfunção temporomandibular e hábitos parafuncionais em policiais militares. Rev. Gaúch. Odontol. 2011; 59(3):351-356..

Research by Graciola and Silveira3434. Graciola J, Silveira AM. Avaliação da Influência do Estresse na Prevalência de Disfunções Temporomandibulares em Militares Estaduais do Rio Grande do Sul. J. Oral Invest. 2013; 2(1):32-37. found that the military police profession is related to the higher prevalence of TMD and a higher level of stress, and that there is a positive correlation between these events. A study by Faria3131. Faria RJA. Avaliação clínica e eletromiográfica de músculos da mastigação, em policiais militares com DTM, antes e após o uso de dispositivos inter-oclusais [dissertação]. Campinas: Universidade Estadual de Campinas; 2006. found a high incidence of TMD in the group of participating military police, especially in women. In Turkey, police were part of a study on the prevalence of TMD symptoms, in which the stress of the profession was cited as responsible for the high frequency of symptoms evidenced by this professional category5353. Ozan F, Polat S, Kara I, Küçük D, Polat HB. Prevalence study of signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorders in a Turkish population. J Contemp Dent Pract 2007; 8(4):35-42..

Caria et al.2323. Caria PHF, Faria RJA, Faria CRS, Croci CS, Negrão Filho R. Efficiency of occlusal splints on police officers with TMD. Braz. J. Oral Sci. 2014; 13(4):292-296. pointed out that, because they are exposed to very high levels of stress, police workers are part of the professional category most likely to develop chronic diseases and disorders such as TMD.

Oliveira and Bardagi11. Oliveira PLM, Bardagi MP. Estresse e comprometimento com a carreira em policiais militares. Bol Psicol 2009; 59(131):153-166. highlighted the importance of attention and emotional control in the performance of police activity, requirements corroborated by Minayo et al.2222. Minayo MCS, Assis SG, Oliveira RVC. Impacto das atividades profissionais na saúde física e mental dos policiais civis e militares do Rio de Janeiro (RJ, Brasil). Cien Saude Colet 2011; 16(4):2199-2209. when pointing out the police officer’s concern to be always alert. Hilgenberg66. Hilgenberg PB. Estudo da participação de sinais e sintomas de Disfunção Temporomandibular (DTM) e sintomas otológicos em pacientes portadores de zumbido subjetivo [dissertação]. Bauru: Universidade e São Paulo; 2007. mentions the incidence of dizziness/vertigo in patients with TMD, a condition that, according to Hueb and Feliciano5454. Hueb MM, Feliciano CP. Avaliação diagnóstica das síndromes vertiginosas. Revista HUPE 2012; 11(3):23-35., destabilizes the posture and position of the individual affected by the problem. Therefore, it is possible to assume that TMD patients may have difficulty concentrating and making decisions, as well as suffering from physical balance and spatial disorientation disorders, conditions that would pose a significant danger to the life of the police workers during the exercise of their profession and to the population to whom they must protect.

Final considerations

Several sources of stress related to police activities were identified. These sources range from those directly involved in police work, such as the risk of death, pressure and responsibility inherent to the work, to those linked to the corporation’s infrastructure, such as overloading and accumulation of tasks due to insufficient staffing and work organization, as well as inadequate facilities, equipment and systems made available for the implementation of the service.

This study could observe that stress exerts influence both in the development of TMD and in the aggravation of its symptoms, but that stress alone is not enough to generate alterations in the health of individuals. The onset of the syndrome depends on the association with other factors such as the individual’s emotional capacity to deal with stressors, the accumulation of stressors or the inclination to develop specific pathologies.

Since there is a relationship between stress and development of TMD, and also the presence of several stressors in the police work, we can suppose that there is a relationship between stress in these activities and the risk of police workers developing TMD.

The TMD theme in police workers does not have scientific literature that can contribute significantly to the mitigation of the problem. Thus, we suggest developing specific studies on the subject, favoring the triangulation of methods (qualitative and quantitative approaches)5555. Minayo MCS. Conceito de avaliação por triangulação de métodos. In: Minayo MCS, Assis SG, Souza ER, organizadores. Avaliação por triangulação de métodos: abordagem de programas sociais. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Fiocruz; 2005. p. 19-51., and the use of different techniques for data collection and analysis, including diagnostic data (physical and imaging tests).

In the quantitative approach, we consider that research on the relationship between occupational stress (organizational and individual stressors) and TMD in police workers can use, for example, a control group, and should exclude from their study population individuals who may have orthognathic problems or are submitted to orthodontic treatment, among others. As an example of qualitative approach techniques, we suggest the (coupled or not) use of individual interviews and mutual interactions (focus group technique) to understand the contexts and the apprehension of feelings towards a specific phenomenon, theme or environment.

Based on the review, the compromised quality of life and general health status of individuals with TMD are underscored. We argue that studies on the subject, even if they do not allow a cause-and-effect relationship between the variables studied, may contribute to the non-fragmentation of health actions directed at this pathology, particularly concerning the anatomical and functional complexity and possible emotional damage involved.

Acknowledgments

The present work was carried out with the support of the Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel - Brazil (CAPES) - Financing Code 001.

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History

  • Received
    06 Oct 2016
  • Reviewed
    06 Aug 2017
  • Accepted
    08 Aug 2017
ABRASCO - Associação Brasileira de Saúde Coletiva Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: revscol@fiocruz.br