Current Osteoporosis Reports

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 369–379 | Cite as

Part II: Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)—Regeneration, Degeneration, and Adaptation

  • W. Eugene RobertsEmail author
  • David L. Stocum
Craniofacial Skeleton (WE Roberts, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Craniofacial Skeleton


Purpose of Review

Elucidate temporomandibular joint (TMJ) development and pathophysiology relative to regeneration, degeneration, and adaption.

Recent Findings

The pharyngeal arch produces a highly conserved stomatognathic system that supports airway and masticatory function. An induced subperiosteal layer of fibrocartilage cushions TMJ functional and parafunctional loads. If the fibrocartilage disc is present, a fractured mandibular condyle (MC) regenerates near the eminence of the fossa via a blastema emanating from the medial periosteal surface of the ramus. TMJ degenerative joint disease (DJD) is a relatively painless osteoarthrosis, resulting in extensive sclerosis, disc destruction, and lytic lesions. Facial form and symmetry may be affected, but the residual bone is vital because distraction continues to lengthen the MC with anabolic bone modeling. Extensive TMJ adaptive, healing, and regenerative potential maintains optimal, life support functions over a lifetime.


Unique aspects of TMJ development, function, and pathophysiology may be useful for innovative management of other joints.


Fibrocartilage TMJ regeneration Airway Deciduous first molars Condylar hyperplasia Osteoarthrosis TMD Adaptation Conserved traits Propagation Condylar distraction 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

David Stocum declares no conflict of interest. W.E. Roberts is a section editor of the Craniofacial Section of Current Osteoporosis Reports, but this paper was reviewed by editor in chief David Burr.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Dentistry, Department of Orthodontics and Oral Facial GeneticsIndiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI)IndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of OrthodonticsLoma Linda UniversityLoma LindaUSA
  3. 3.Advanced Dental EducationSt. Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  4. 4.School of Science, Department of BiologyIndiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI)IndianapolisUSA

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