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ASDC J Dent Child. 1998 Nov-Dec;65(6):459-67, 438.

Prevalence of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) in children based on physical signs.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, Creighton University School of Dentistry, Omaha, NE, USA.


Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are related to the function and integrity of the masticatory system with restricted jaw movement and/or joint clicking or crepitus, for example, dominating the clinical signs of these disorders. The prevalence of TMD signs was examined in non-patient children ages six to twelve (1994 n = 185, 1995 n = 237) by four examiners using standardized techniques. Of significance was the finding that 7.3 percent of the 1994 children had audible joint sounds, while the 1995 examination reported 3 percent. Statistically significant relationships (p < 0.05) between the ages of the subjects and measurements of overbite (p < 0.0001), overjet (p < 0.01), and clicking (p < 0.005) were calculated from the 1994 data, while significant correlations for overbite (p < 0.001) and overjet (p < 0.01), but not clicking were found in the 1995 examination. One study of four- to six-year-old nonpatients reported a higher occurrence of joint sounds (48 percent). This disparity indicates a possible need for standardization of examination techniques specifically targeting joint sounds and their role in TM disorders.

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