Journal Article

Posterior crossbite and temporomandibular disorders (TMDs): need for orthodontic treatment?

Birgit Thilander and Krister Bjerklin

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 34, issue 6, pages 667-673
Published in print December 2012 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
Posterior crossbite and temporomandibular disorders (TMDs): need for orthodontic treatment?

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The aim of this work was to update the bibliography regarding the concept of ‘temporomandibular disorder (TMD)’ and ‘posterior crossbite’ and try to find out if there is any association between some special signs/symptoms of TMD and type of posterior crossbite. A literature search from 1970 to 2009, due to specified criterion, resulted in 14 publications that were found to be relevant for the present systematic review. An association between TMD and posterior crossbite (Yes-group) was reported as often as absence of such a relationship (No-group). The samples in the two groups showed similarities as well as differences with respect to number, gender, and age. Most articles reported only on ‘presence’ or ‘absence’ of crossbite and only few on type of crossbite opposite to a thorough account of clinical signs and symptoms of TMD. This review seems, however, to state that a functional posterior crossbite (mandibular guidance with midline deviation) is associated with headache, temporomandibular joint and muscular pain, and clicking. As evident from the discussion, such type needs orthodontic treatment to rehabilitate the asymmetric muscular activity between the crossbite and non-crossbite sides and the changed condyle/temporal relationship caused by mandibular deviation. Whether this treatment also will avoid future TMD problems can be answered only after clinical follow-up studies have been performed.

Journal Article.  3746 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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