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Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache



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J Orofac Pain 32 (2018), No. 3     9. Aug. 2018
J Orofac Pain 32 (2018), No. 3  (09.08.2018)

Page 329-337

Effect of Shortened Dental Arch on Temporomandibular Joint Intra-articular Disorders
Reissmann, Daniel R. / Anderson, Gary C. / Heydecke, Guido / Schiffman, Eric L.
Aims: To investigate whether a shortened dental arch (SDA), as identified by reduced posterior occlusal contacts, is a risk factor for the progression of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) intra-articular disorders (ID), as identified using imaging techniques.
Methods: This multisite, prospective observational study with a mean follow-up period of 7.9 years had a sample of 345 participants with at least 1 temporomandibular disorder (TMD) diagnosis at baseline. SDA was defined as reduced occlusal posterior support due to lack of occlusal intercuspal contacts in the molar region on the left and/or right side. SDA was assessed at baseline and at follow-up with metalized Mylar Tape. The presence or absence of a TMJ ID and the specific TMJ ID diagnoses for baseline and follow-up images were established by a calibrated, blinded radiologist at each of three sites by using bilateral magnetic resonance imaging for soft tissue imaging for disc displacement and by bilateral multidetector computed tomography or cone beam computed tomography for hard tissue imaging for degenerative joint diseases. Wilcoxon rank sum test and linear regression analyses were used to test for an impact of SDA on TMJ ID status.
Results: At baseline, TMJ ID status of either side was not significantly affected by the presence of SDA on the ipsilateral or contralateral side of the jaw (all P > .05). Furthermore, the presence or absence of SDA at baseline was also not a significant predictor for progression of the TMJ ID status between baseline and follow-up (all P > .05).
Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest that there is no significant effect of SDA on progression of TMJ ID.

Keywords: intra-articular disorders, observational study, risk factor, shortened dental arch, temporomandibular joint