Can pterygoid plate asymmetry be linked to temporomandibular joint disorders?

Maria Eugenia Guerrero, Jorge Beltran, Antoon de Laat, Reinhilde Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study was performed to evaluate the relationship between pterygoid plate asymmetry and temporomandibular joint disorders. Materials and Methods: Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) images of 60 patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) involving pain were analyzed and compared with images of 60 age- and gender-matched controls. Three observers performed linear measurements of the lateral pterygoid plates. Results: Statistically significant differences were found between measurements of the lateral pterygoid plates on the site that had pain and the contralateral site (p<0.05). The average length of the lateral pterygoid plates (LPPs) in patients with TMD was 17.01±3.64 mm on the right side and 16.21±3.51 mm on the left side, and in patients without TMD, it was 11.86±1.97 mm on the right side and 11.98±1.85 mm on the left side. Statistically significant differences in the LPP length, measured on CBCT, were found between patients with and without TMD (p<0.05). The inter-examiner reliability obtained in this study was very high for all the examiners (0.99, 95% confidence interval: 0.98-0.99). Conclusion: Within the limits of the present study, CBCT lateral pterygoid plate measurements at the side with TMD were found to be significantly different from those on the side without TMD. More research is needed to explore potential etiological correlations and implications for treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
JournalImaging Science in Dentistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by Korean Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology.


  • Cone-beam computed tomography
  • Facial pain
  • Sphenoid bone
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders


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