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Age and gender as factors in temporomandibular joint movement in adolescents, as determined by computerized 3D electronic condylography

Generalized joint hypermobility and Temporomandibular joints disorders are more common in women. Computerized electronic 3D axiography has been used to determine whether age and gender are factors in condylar movement in an asymptomatic adolescent sample.

PURPOSE: The present study assesses the influence of age and gender on temporomandibular joint movement.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 63 subjects had their right and left temporomandibular joint movements recorded by 3D electronic axiography. The sample was comprised of two groups: group 11.5–13.5 (23F, 7M) and group 13.5–15.5 (17F, 12M). All subjects were asymptomatic for temporomandibular joint disorders.

RESULTS: In the determination of whether there was a gender-related difference between the key variables, one variable (Quantity – right mediotrusion) was significantly different (p>0.001). Whether there was an age difference relationship between placement in the 11.5–13.5 or the 13.5–15.5 group, the 11.5–13.5 group had variables with significant differences (p>0.001). These were: left start/end on open/close, ΔY on protrusion/retrusion, left mediotrusion – left incursive pathway, right quantity – mediotrusion-left, right start/end difference – mediotrusion-left, and left quantity – mediotrusion right. When it was determined whether males have different measurements depending whether they were in the 11.5–13.5 group. There were significant (p>0.001) differences for right incursive coefficient – open/close, ΔY – open/close, and ΔY protrusion–retrusion (13.5–15.5 group had greater variation), while for right start/end difference protrusion–retrusion, and right quantity – mediotrusion-left (11.5–13.5 group had greater variation). For the between group comparison for females, only left quantity – mediotrusion right differed significantly, with the 11.5–13.5 group demonstrating greater variation.

CONCLUSIONS: Other than for one measurement (Quantity – right – mediotrusion right) there was no difference in TMJ movement based on gender. There were significant age-related differences with both younger males and to a lesser degree females demonstrating greater variation in TMJ movements than their older cohort.

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