197 subjects (74 male, 123 female) were evaluated in this Study of Health in Pomerania associated project (SHIP 0). Both a clinical functional status and an instrumental analysis of functional movement patterns of the mandible were performed in each subject, in the latter case using an ultrasonic jaw motion analysis system. Correlations between instrumental movement pattern features and clinical signs and symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), such as joint sounds, palpable impairment of jaw movement, and the termination of opening movement at the incisal point, were particularly significant (p < 0.005). Correlations for TMJ crepitation sounds and joint pain on palpitation from the lateral or posterior aspect tended to be less significant (p < 0.1). No association was found for pain on jaw movement or muscle tenderness in response to pressure. A multivariate logistic regression model showed a significant correlation between Helkimo Clinical Dysfunction grades 2 and 3 and the following independent variables: frequent headaches (odds ratio [OR] 4.12; p = 0.032), frequent popping sounds in the jaw joints (OR 5.79; p = 0.012), incisal paths showing conspicuous signs of dysfunction such as deviation or deflection (OR 4.35; p = 0.05), and condylar path anomalies such as jumpy, straight/inverse or irregular tracings (OR 28.59; p = 0.006). Instrumental functional analysis of condylar path tracings allows one to draw statistically valid conclusions about the occurrence of TMD symptoms. It can be helpful to perform condylar path analysis when performing risk assessments for temporomandibular dysfunction in certain situations, particularly before prosthetic rehabilitation.
Keywords: temporomandibular joint dysfunction, TMD, craniomandibular dysfunction, CMD, instrumental functional analysis, temporomandibular disorders, jaw motion analysis, three-dimensional jaw tracking