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Risk factors associated with temporomandibular joint sounds in children 6 to 12 years of age

American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0889-5406(94)70122-9


Abstract The relationship between temporomandibular joint (TMJ) sounds and a person's dental and skeletal characteristics is poorly understood. In this study, data were obtained from 3428 grade schoolchildren (mean age = 9.0 years, SD = 0.8, range 6 to 12 years), without a history of orthodontic treatment. Each child had been examined independently by one of six orthodontists to assess: TMJ sounds (none, click, crepitus), gender, age, race (white/black), skeletal relationships (convexity, maxillary, and mandibular positions), malocclusion (molar class, overjet, overbite, anterior crowding, posterior crossbite), maximum opening, chin trauma (none, cut, scar), and history of lower facial trauma. Temporomandibular joint sounds were present in 344 children (10.0% of the sample); 276 (8.1%) had an isolated unilateral sound, 254 (7.4%) had unilateral clicking, 50 (1.5%) had bilateral clicking, 22 (0.6%) had unilateral crepitus, and 11 (0.3%) had bilateral crepitus. Univariate analyses compared children with and without sounds for each variable; logistic regression analyses examined the relationship between groups of variables and TMJ sounds. The prevalence of TMJ sounds was associated with examiner (X 2 = 23.4, df = 5, p < 0.001); increased prevalence of TMJ sounds occurred in children with maxillary anterior crowding ( t = 2.8, p < 0.006), mandibular anterior crowding ( t = 3.0, p < 0.002), and increased maximum opening ( t = 4.7, p < 0.001). In contrast to other reports on children, the prevalence of joint sounds was not associated with age, race, gender, or molar class. After accounting for examiner differences and date of school examination, we concluded that those grade schoolchildren with larger maximum opening, increased anterior crowding, and deeper overbites had an increased risk for having a TMJ sound. (A M J O RTHOD D ENTOFAC O RTHOP 1994;105:279-87.)

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