Document Type




Format of Original

8 p.

Publication Date




Source Publication

American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1016/S0889-5406(98)70206-9


Few studies of dentofacial and orthodontic structural relationships relative to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction have been reported. We undertook this investigation to determine any correlation of orthodontic and dentofacial characteristics with TMJ bilateral disc displacement. The population of patients was selected from a TMJ clinic where a control group of asymptomatic volunteers had been previously established and standardized. Differences in skeletal structural features were determined among three study groups: (1) asymptomatic volunteers with no TMJ disk displacement, (2) symptomatic patients with no TMJ disc displacement, and (3) symptomatic patients with bilateral TMJ disk displacement. Thirty-two asymptomatic volunteers without disk displacement (25 female, 7 male) were compared with the same number each of symptomatic patients without TMJ disk displacement and symptomatic patients with bilateral TMJ disk displacement. All subjects had undergone a standardized clinical examination, bilateral TMJ magnetic resonance imaging, and lateral cephalometric radiographic analysis. The groups were matched according to sex, TMJ status, age, and Angle classification of malocclusion. Seventeen lateral cephalometric radiographic cranial base, maxillomandibular, and vertical dimension variables were evaluated and compared among the study groups. The mean angle of SNB, or the intersection of the sella-nasion plane and the nasion–point B line (indicating mandibular retrognathism relative to cranial base), of the symptomatic patients-with-displacement group was significantly smaller than that in the asymptomatic volunteers and symptomatic patients without bilateral disk displacement (p < 0.05). Female subjects showed smaller linear measurements of mandibular length, lower facial height, and total anterior facial height than male subjects in all three groups (p < 0.05). The mean angle of ANB, or the intersection of the nasion–point A and nasion–point B planes (indicating retrognathism of mandible relative to maxilla), was significantly greater in female than in male subjects, in all groups (p < 0.05). Symptomatic patients with bilateral disk displacement had a retropositioned mandible, indicated by a smaller mean SNB angle compared with that in asymptomatic volunteers and symptomatic patients with no disk displacement on either side. Lateral cephalometric radiographic assessment may improve predictability of TMJ disk displacement in orthodontic patients but is not diagnostic; nor does the assessment explain any cause-and-effect relationship.


American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Vol. 114, No. 3 (September 1998): 248–255. DOI. © 1998 Elsevier Inc. Used with permission.

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