Review| Volume 60, ISSUE 4, P387-396, May 2022

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Osteoarthritis of the temporomandibular joint: a review of aetiology and pathogenesis


      The aim of this review was to assess the level of evidence for genetic, biological, and functional predictive and predisposing factors for end-stage temporomandibular joint arthritis within the published literature. A comprehensive review based upon PRISMA guidelines was performed from all literature relevant to the topic. Case series and animal studies were included given the rare nature of the disease and goal of finding root-cause predictive factors. Clinical and radiographic measures were used specifically to identify factors which may have contributed to disease onset and progression. A total of 249 abstracts were identified based on search terms of major databases. After application of exclusion and inclusion criteria, 63 full-text articles were included in the analysis of this paper. There were few factors that could be reliably used to predict end-stage temporomandibular joint disease. Limited evidence is available to adequately predict end-stage temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis. No descriptive process exists that explains how and why this process can occur in younger adults. A better understanding of the aetiology and pathogenesis of TMJ-OA may lead to prevention and more effective management strategies that may reduce the need for drastic surgical intervention, particularly in young adults.


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