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Temporomandibular joint dysfunction and orthognathic surgery: a retrospective study

Jean-Pascal Dujoncquoy1, Joël Ferri1, Gwénael Raoul1 and Johannes Kleinheinz2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Oral and Maxillo-Facial Surgery at Lille 2 University, France

2 Department of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery University Hospital Muenster, Waldeyerstrasse 30, D-48149 Muenster, Germany

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Head & Face Medicine 2010, 6:27  doi:10.1186/1746-160X-6-27

Published: 17 November 2010



Relations between maxillo-mandibular deformities and TMJ disorders have been the object of different studies in medical literature and there are various opinions concerning the alteration of TMJ dysfunction after orthognathic surgery. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate TMJ disorders changes before and after orthognathic surgery, and to assess the risk of creating new TMJ symptoms on asymptomatic patients.


A questionnaire was sent to 176 patients operated at the Maxillo-Facial Service of the Lille's 2 Universitary Hospital Center (Chairman Pr Joël Ferri) from 01.01.2006 to 01.01.2008. 57 patients (35 females and 22 males), age range from 16 to 65 years old, filled the questionnaire. The prevalence and the results on pain, sounds, clicking, joint locking, limited mouth opening, and tenseness were evaluated comparing different subgroups of patients.


TMJ symptoms were significantly reduced after treatment for patients with pre-operative symptoms. The overall subjective treatment outcome was: improvement for 80.0% of patients, no change for 16.4% of patients, and an increase of symptoms for 3.6% of them. Thus, most patients were very satisfied with the results. However the appearance of new onset of TMJ symptoms is common. There was no statistical difference in the prevalence of preoperative TMJ symptoms and on postoperative results in class II compared to class III patients.


These observations demonstrate that: there is a high prevalence of TMJ disorders in dysgnathic patients; most of patients with preoperative TMJ signs and symptoms can improve TMJ dysfunction and pain levels can be reduced by orthognathic treatment; a percentage of dysgnathic patients who were preoperatively asymptomatic can develop TMJ disorders after surgery but this risk is low.