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Clin Anat. 2011 Jul;24(5):590-8. doi: 10.1002/ca.21122. Epub 2011 Jan 7.

Influence of food consistency on growth and morphology of the mandibular condyle.

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Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


The objective of this study was to determine if variation in the shape and mineralization of the mandibular condyle are the result of natural adaptation in response to different functional loading demands. Eight female Kuni Kuni piglets were randomly assigned to two groups of four, receiving either a soft or hard diet. Each animal was given three separate doses of vital stains intravenously at set time points during the study. At 8.5 months, animals were euthanized and temporomandibular joints (TMJs) were excised. Histological analysis was used to measure the amount of new bone deposition in the anterior, central, and posterior regions of the mandibular condyle. Backscatter electron (BSE) imaging was used as a semiquantitative estimate of bone mineralization in these two diet groups. Histology revealed that the degree of new bone deposition in the hard-diet group was significantly (n = 4, P < 0.001, paired t-test) higher than that of the soft-diet group. Also, the majority (87%) of animals fed a hard diet tended to show greater new bone deposition on the leftside in comparison to the right, indicating a chewing preference for the left side. In both groups, the degree of new bone deposition was significantly (P < 0.01) higher in the posterior area than in other regions. BSE imaging corroborated basic histology results, with significantly (P < 0.01) higher mineralization levels detected in the hard-diet group. These findings indicate that diet consistency has a small but significant effect on the rate of bone deposition in the mandibular condyle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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