Comparison of Clinical and Radiological Characteristics of Temporomandibular Joint Osteoarthritis in Older and Young people

Won Jung1, 2, Kyung-Eun Lee1, 2, Bong-Jik Suh1, 2, *
1 Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, Institute of Oral Bioscience, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea
2 Research Institute of Clinical Medicine of Jeonbuk National University-Biomedical Research and Institute of Jeonbuk National University Hospital, Jeonju, South Korea

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© 2022 Jung et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the 1Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, Institute of Oral Bioscience, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea; Tel: +82-63-250-2060; Fax: +82-63-250-2058; E-mail:


Background and Objectives:

The relatively high prevalence of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) osteoarthritis (OA) in older people increases the necessity to investigate the specific characteristics of TMJ-OA in this particular population. This study aimed to analyze the longitudinal changes in clinical and radiological characteristics of TMJ-OA in older people.


We retrospectively analyzed the clinical features and cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) images of 76 participants with TMJ-OA. Participants were classified into two groups according to age. The older people group included 33 participants over 50 years of age, and the control group included 43 participants in their 15-29 years. We analyzed the differences in clinical features and the distribution of destructive bony changes on CBCT images between groups.


The duration of pain was significantly shorter in the older people group (P = .046); however, the treatment duration was significantly longer in the older people group (P = .001). There was a significant difference in the distribution of destructive bony features between groups (P = .005). In the older people group, “three or more features” (36.3%) were the most common, whereas in the control group, “erosion” (44.2%) was the most common. After treatment, there was little improvement in the frequency of “erosion” in the older people group. There was a significant difference in the proportion of erosion after treatment between the groups (P = .033).


In older people with TMJ-OA, active treatment to effectively induce condylar remodeling should be considered.

Keywords: Cone-beam computed tomography, Degenerative changes, Degenerative joint diseases, Older people, Prognosis, Temporomandibular joint, Osteoarthritis.