Mechanical work during stress-field translation in the human TMJ

L. M. Gallo, G. Chiaravalloti, L. R. Iwasaki, J. C. Nickel, S. Palla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The pathomechanics of degenerative joint disease of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) may involve fatigue produced by mechanical work on the articulating tissues. This study tested the hypotheses that mechanical work in the TMJ (i) varies with the type of mandibular activity, and (ii) is evenly distributed over TMJ surfaces. Ten healthy human participants were recorded with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and jaw tracking. The data were used to reconstruct and animate TMJ activity. Aspect ratios, instantaneous velocities, and distances of stress-fields translation were used to calculate work (mJ). The results were analyzed by least-squares polynomial regression and ANOVA. Work magnitudes were related to peak velocity (R2 = 0.92) and distance of stressfield translation (R2 = 0.83), and were distributed over the joint surfaces (p < 0.03). During mandibular laterotrusion, average mechanical work was 1.5 times greater in the contralateral joint. Peak magnitudes of work (> 3000 mJ) were 4 times that previously reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1006-1010
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomechanics
  • MRI
  • Mechanical work
  • Stress-fields
  • Temporomandibular joint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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