Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Crit Rev Oral Biol Med. 2003;14(2):138-50.

Biomechanical behavior of the temporomandibular joint disc.

Author information

Department of Orthodontics and Craniofacial Developmental Biology, Hiroshima University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Japan.


The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disc consists mainly of collagen fibers and proteoglycans constrained in the interstices of the collagen fiber mesh. This construction results in a viscoelastic response of the disc to loading and enables the disc to play an important role as a stress absorber during function. The viscoelastic properties depend on the direction (tension, compression, and shear) and the type of the applied loading (static and dynamic). The compressive elastic modulus of the disc is smaller than its tensile one because the elasticity of the disc is more dependent on the collagen fibers than on the proteoglycans. When dynamic loading occurs, the disc is likely to behave less stiffly than under static loading because of the difference of fluid flow through and out of the disc during loading. In addition, the mechanical properties change as a result of various intrinsic and extrinsic factors in life such as aging, trauma, and pathology. Information about the viscoelastic behavior of the disc is required for its function to be understood and, for instance, for a suitable TMJ replacement device to be constructed. In this review, the biomechanical behavior of the disc in response to different loading conditions is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center