The effect of age and gender on the onset of symptomatic temporomandibular joint disk displacement

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Abstract

Objective.

The aim of this study was to test the hypotheses that incidence of symptomatic temporomandibular joint disk displacement is evenly distributed over all ages and between genders and that there is no gender difference in pain perception.

Study design.

The study population consisted of 248 consecutive patients with radiographically verified symptomatic temporomandibular joint disk displacement. The time of onset of the condition relative to age and gender was determined, as was pain level.

Results.

There was a statistically significant peak in incidence of symptomatic temporomandibular joint disk displacement during adolescence for both genders. Teenage girls were found to run a risk of developing disk displacement that is three times greater than the risk for teenage boys, and girls were found to run a risk during puberty that is four times greater than their risk later in life. The age at onset of the condition did not differ between genders. Both female and male subjects reported the same degree of pain level.

Conclusion.

The results point to a teenage preponderance and a sexual dimorphism with respect to incidence of symptomatic temporomandibular joint disk displacement.

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