J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2016 Jan;74(1):29-46. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2015.07.006. Epub 2015 Jul 18.
PURPOSE: The present article aimed to review systematically the literature on the relation between facial skeletal structures and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic search in the dental and medical literature was performed to identify all studies of humans assessing the relation between TMJ disorders and facial morphology. Articles were included based on study design, irrespective of TMJ disorder (eg, disc displacement, osteoarthrosis, or unspecified), skeletal features, diagnostic strategies (e.g., imaging techniques or clinical assessment), and population (eg, demographic features of participants) under investigation. The selected articles were assessed according to a format based on patients, problem, and population, intervention, comparison, and outcome and quality was evaluated based on the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.
RESULTS: Thirty-four articles were included in the review, 27 of which concerned adult samples and 7 concerned adolescent samples. Quality was generally moderate. The articles dealt with the relation between facial morphology and the following TMJ disorders, assessed clinically or by magnetic resonance (MR): disc displacement (n = 20), osteoarthritis or osteoarthrosis (n = 8), and temporomandibular disorder signs and symptoms (n = 6). The different approaches featuring the various investigations and the presence of some potential methodologic biases complicated a summary of the findings. Most studies reported that some features related to the vertical dimension of the face might help distinguish patients with potential TMJ disc displacement or MR-detected signs of osteoarthrosis from those without TMJ disorders.
CONCLUSIONS: The quality of the available literature is not adequate to provide an evidence base on the topic. Despite the heterogeneity of design and findings of the reviewed articles, it seems reasonable to suggest that skeletal Class II profiles and hyperdivergent growth patterns are likely associated with an increased frequency of TMJ disc displacement and degenerative disorders.