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Volume 16 , Issue 6
November/December 2003

Pages 631–634


A 5-Year Follow-up of Signs and Symptoms of TMD and Radiographic Findings in the Elderly

Kaija Hiltunen, DDS/Jaakko S. Peltola, DDS, PhD/Miira M. Vehkalahti, DDS, PhD/Timo Närhi, DDS, PhD/Anja Ainamo, DDS, PhD


PMID: 14714843

Purpose: The aim was to clarify the associations among subjective symptoms, clinical signs of temporomandibular disorders (TMD), and radiographic findings in the mandibular condyles of elderly people during a 5-year follow-up. Materials and Methods: As part of a comprehensive medical survey of a random sample born in 1904, 1909, and 1914 (Helsinki Aging Study), 364 subjects living in Helsinki participated in the dental part of the examination during 1990 and 1991; after 5 years, 103 of these were reexamined. Comprehensive data on TMD were available for 94 subjects, and radiographic data were available for 88. TMD were assessed by Helkimo’s anamnestic and clinical indices, and radiographic status was assessed by panoramic radiographs. Results: During the 5-year follow-up, reported anamnestic symptoms of TMD for men changed little (9%); among women, the change from baseline was 42%. When the unchanged indices were compared, the gender difference was obvious. At baseline, 5% of the women, but no men, had severe signs (clinical index III) of TMD. At the end of follow-up, none showed severe signs. Comparison of radiographic findings between baseline and follow-up showed no differences, nor did differences appear in associations between radiographic findings and anamnestic or clinical indices. Conclusion: During the 5-year follow-up, signs and symptoms of TMD in these elderly individuals became milder or vanished. The radiographic status of the condyles remained stable, and no association appeared between radiographic findings and signs and symptoms of TMD. Int J Prosthodont 2003;16:631–634.


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