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The aim of this study was to evaluate the maximum bite force in temporomandibular disorders (TMD) patients. Two hundred women were equally divided into four groups: myogenic TMD, articular TMD, mixed TMD and control. The maximum bite force was measured in the first molar area, on both sides, in two sessions, using an IDDK (Kratos) Model digital dynamometer, adapted to oral conditions. Three-way ANOVA, Tukey and Pearson correlation tests were used for the statistical analysis. The level of statistical significance was given when P ≤ 0·05. The maximal bite force values were significantly higher in the control group than in the experimental ones (P = 0·00), with no significant differences between sides. Higher values were obtained in the second session (P = 0·001). Indeed, moderate negative correlation was found between age and bite force, when articular, mixed groups and all groups together were evaluated. A moderate negative correlation was also detected between TMD severity and the maximal bite force values for myogenic, mixed and all groups together. Authors concluded that the presence of masticatory muscle pain and/or TMJ inflammation can play a role in maximum bite force. The mechanisms involved in this process, however, are not well understood and deserve further investigation.