TMJ Radiographic Findings in Patients with Clicking of Joints

Author(s): Karishma Desai, Jayanth Kumar


The temporomandibular joint is also called the mandibular joint. As the name suggests, it is an articulation between the temporal bone and the mandible. Pain in the TMJ region is a common finding. Disorders of the TMJ are recorded quite frequently in adults. Symptoms of such disorders include pain, clicking, jaw deviation, attrition and limited mouth opening. Difficulty in mastication was also reported as a sign of TMJ dysfunction. TMJ disorders refer to a cluster of conditions that are characterised by various symptoms as listed. The etiology of such disorders cannot be pinpointed but is more likely to be caused by a collection of factors. These may include occlusal overload, increased stress levels, bruxism and even increased levels of estrogen can lead to such TMDs.


This study was conducted in a University setting. The case records were collected using multiple criteria which included impacted third molars, OPGs etc. A total of 684 records were obtained. An approval from the Institutional Ethical Approval Board was obtained to assess the patient data records. All teeth that were impacted were considered. Exclusion criteria were mandibular impacted third molars, incomplete records, poor quality of the OPGs. The data was collected and tabulated using MS Excel and exported to SPSS for further statistical analysis.


All results were obtained in the form of charts and graphs. The TMJ findings were categorised as Flattening, Erosion, Osteophyte and Normal. These findings were recorded on both the left and right side of each OPG. An association was made between gender of the patient and the findings on the right side as well as the left side. A majority of 70 % of the population presented with clicking. The most commonly found TMJ characteristic was flattening of the condyle. It was seen in about 14-17 % of the population (including males, females, right and left side). This was followed by erosion and the osteophyte formation.


From the above results and discussion, it can be concluded that most of the people (70 %) belonging to the age group of 21 to 40 years experienced clicking. Clicking was found to be a more common finding among females. Osteophyte is a very rare finding in females when compared to males on both the right as well as left sides. On the other hand, flattening is more common in males than in females on both sides. The aim of the study to associate clicking and other characteristic features of the TMJ with gender was achieved.

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