The Occurrence of Degenerative Change in the Mandibular Condyles of Korean Patients with Temporomandibular Disorders

측두하악장애 환자에서 하악과두의 퇴행성 변화의 발생 양상에 대한 연구

  • Jo, Jung-Hwan (Department of Oral Medicine & Oral Diagnosis, School of Dentistry & Dental Research Institute, Seoul National University) ;
  • Park, Min-Woo (Department of Oral Medicine & Oral Diagnosis, School of Dentistry & Dental Research Institute, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kim, Young-Ku (Department of Oral Medicine & Oral Diagnosis, School of Dentistry & Dental Research Institute, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lee, Jeong-Yun (Department of Oral Medicine & Oral Diagnosis, School of Dentistry & Dental Research Institute, Seoul National University)
  • 조정환 (서울대학교 치의학대학원 구강내과진단학 교실, 치의학연구소) ;
  • 박민우 (서울대학교 치의학대학원 구강내과진단학 교실, 치의학연구소) ;
  • 김영구 (서울대학교 치의학대학원 구강내과진단학 교실, 치의학연구소) ;
  • 이정윤 (서울대학교 치의학대학원 구강내과진단학 교실, 치의학연구소)
  • Received : 2011.01.25
  • Accepted : 2011.03.11
  • Published : 2011.03.30


Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form of arthritis, is a result of both mechanical and biological events that destabilize the normal coupling of degradation and synthesis of articular cartilage chondrocytes and extracelluar matrix, and subchondral bone. Although it is likely that the molecular basis of pathogenesis is similar to that of other joints, additional study of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is required due to its unique structure and function. This study was carried out to evaluate the epidemiologic characteristics of TMJ osteoarthritis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of TMJ OA in Patients with temporomandibular disorders (1405 men and 2922 women whose mean age was $30.2\; {\pm}\; 15.4$ and $33.1\;{\pm}\;15.2$ years, respectively) who had visited the TMJ and Orofacial Pain Clinic of Seoul National University Dental Hospital in 2007. Orthopantomograms, TMJ tomograms and transcranial radiographs were used to evaluate degenerative change of the mandibular condyle. The obtained results were as follows: 1. Degenerative change of the mandibular condyle was observed in 883 (20.4%) of 4327 subjects. The prevalence was significantly higher in women (706 patients, 24.1%) than in men (177 patients, 12.6%), and this significant difference between genders was observed in all age groups. 2. The prevalence of degenerative change of the mandibular condyle in TMD patients showed a gentle increase along with age. Such increase was statistically significant in women (P < 0.001), but not in men. 3. Sclerosis was observed the most frequently in all age groups and the mean age of the patients with osteophyte was the highest among four types of degenerative change. 4. Although men showed degenerative change in the left side more often and women showed degenerative change more frequently in both sides, the difference of distribution in sides between genders was not significant. In conclusion, the prevalence of degenerative change of the mandibular condyle in TMD patients is higher in women than in men, and increases steadily with aging, but not as dramatically as in other joints that show a steep increase in prevalence around the age of 45 years. It can be suggested that the epidemiologic characteristic of OA of the TMJ differs from those of other joints, and that a more extensive study based on the general population is necessary.


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