Temporomandibular joint development and functional disorders related to clinical otologic symptomatology

Acta Clin Croat. 2011 Mar;50(1):51-60.


Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are a form of musculoskeletal pain of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and/or masticatory muscles of nonspecific etiology. In this study, the relationship between embryonic and anatomic-topographic similarities of the TMJ and the ear was analyzed, i.e. secondary otologic symptoms that can be closely connected to TMJ disorder. Nonspecific otologic symptoms are not primary diagnostic symptoms of TMD, but may cause diagnostic confusion due to patients' inability to correctly locate the origin of pain. The most common otologic symptoms that can be related to TMDs are otalgia, tinnitus and vertigo. Otorhinolaryngologists have to differentiate between primary otologic symptoms and those caused by TMJ disorders. In TMD diagnosis, manual techniques are used to determine the arthrogenic or myogenic form, whereas in the diagnosis of arthrogenic disorders magnetic resonance imaging is indicated as the highly specific imaging method ofjoint disk and osteoarthritic changes. Symptomatic treatments for TMD as well as the etiologic diagnosis of the pain require multidisciplinary cooperation between dentists and medical specialists.

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Ear Diseases / complications*
  • Ear Diseases / diagnosis
  • Earache / complications
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / complications*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / diagnosis
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / embryology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / therapy
  • Tinnitus / complications
  • Vertigo / complications