Characterization of the mechanical function of the temporomandibular joint disc
Lemoine, Jeremy Jon
Liebschner, Michael A. K.
Doctor of Philosophy
An estimated 20-25% of Americans suffer from the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. The National Institutes of Health have reported between 14.4 and 43.2 million Americans having symptoms associated with TMJ disorders, with peak prevalence in young adults. TMD can be caused by many different factors and can have complex symptoms which can include but are not limited to deviation in opening and closing, clicking, locking, joint and muscle pain, and limited opening. A characterization of the temporomandibular joint as it pertains to kinematics is required in order to understand the pathology. A new method for defining quantifiable jaw motion parameters is developed and used to describe the motion characteristics in a normal population, as well as to compare between normal and pathological subjects. Additionally, a motion prediction algorithm is developed which is used to accurately predict the mandibular motion of two subjects. A subject specific finite element model is created to examine the stress profile of the temporomandibular joint disc during normal jaw motion in vivo. Finally, a muscle activation prediction algorithm is created and used to create a kinematic model for the investigation of mechanical changes in the temporomandibular joint.