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Occurrence of signs of osteoarthritis/arthrosis in the temporomandibular joint on panoramic radiographs in Swedish women

Journal article
Authors Karin Bäck
Margareta Ahlqwist
Magnus Hakeberg
Lars Dahlström
Published in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Volume 45
Issue 5
Pages 478-484
ISSN 0301-5661
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Odontology
Pages 478-484
Language en
Keywords epidemiology, longitudinal, osteoarthritis, panoramic radiography, temporomandibular joint, beam computed-tomography, internal derangement, mandibular condyle, population, disorders, gothenburg, reliability, prevalence, diagnosis, symptoms, Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine, Public, Environmental & Occupational, Health, een b, 1993, zeitschrift fur gerontologie, v26, p163
Subject categories Dentistry


Objectives: To determine the prevalence and incidence of radiographic signs of osteoarthritis/osteoarthrosis (OA) in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) among middle-aged and older women. Methods: Data were collected from ongoing representative, longitudinal and repeated cross-sectional studies in Gothenburg, Sweden. Panoramic radiographs (PAN) have been taken regularly since 1968. The cohorts were systematically selected from the female population at the ages of 38, 50, 62 and 74. Condylar alterations indicative of OA (flattening/osteophyte/erosion) were evaluated in a total of 5234 PANs by one examiner under standardized conditions. Intra-examiner reliability was good. Sensitivity was poor, and specificity was acceptable in relation to computed tomography. Results: The prevalence of signs of OA in the TMJ was 18% on panoramic radiographs at the age of 38, gradually increasing with age. At the age of 62, the prevalence was 38%, and it was stable around 45% in the older age groups. The highest incidence rate of OA was between the ages of 55 and 65. Bilateral OA was uncommon. Flattening was the most prominent finding. Conclusion: The prevalence of signs of OA in the TMJ, including remodeling, evaluated on panoramic radiographs in representative cohorts of women, increases substantially with age. Around one in every five middle-aged women and almost every second woman of older ages can be expected to have some radiographic alteration in the TMJ. The highest proportion with new findings of OA is to be found among older middle-aged women.

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