Effects of food hardness on temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis: Qualitative and quantitative micro-CT analysis of rats in vivo

Trang Thi Ngoc Tran, Ding-Han Wang, Mu Chen Yang, Jyh Cheng Chen, Po Han Wu, Cheng-Chieh Yang, Wun Eng Hsu, Ming Lun Hsu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis (TMJ-OA) is a degenerative joint disease in which quantitative analysis based on magnetic resonance image (MRI) or cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) remains limited. Moreover, the long-term effects of soft food on the adaptive condylar remodeling process in TMJ-OA remain unclear. This study aimed to assess the effects of food hardness on adaptive condylar remodeling in a healthy TMJ, TMJ-OA, and controlled TMJ-OA. Methods: Complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) was used for TMJ-OA induction and Link-N (LN) for TMJ repair. Eighteen mature rats were randomly divided into six groups: (1) control/normal diet (Ctrl-N); (2) control/soft diet (Ctrl-S); (3) TMJ-OA/normal diet (CFA-N); (4) TMJ-OA/soft diet (CFA-S); (5) Link-N-controlled TMJ-OA/normal diet (LN-N); and (6) Link-N-controlled TMJ-OA/soft diet (LN-S). Micro-CT was performed 14, 21, and 28 days after CFA injection to analyze the bone volume, bone volume fraction (BVF), bone mineral density (BMD), and trabecular bone number and thickness (Tb.N, Tb.Th). MRI and histological imaging were performed to support the analysis. Results: Under CFA treatment, the BVF and BMD decreased significantly (p < 0.01) and later recovered to normal. However, more significant improvements occurred in normal-diet groups than soft-diet groups. Additionally, bone volume changes were more predictable in the normal-diet groups than in the soft-diet groups. The normal-diet groups presented a significant decrease and increase in the Tb.N and Tb.Th, respectively (p < 0.05), while the Tb.N and Tb.Th in the soft-diet groups remained largely unchanged. Furthermore, a significantly higher frequency of irregularities on the condylar articular surface was found in the soft-diet groups. Conclusions: Compared with a soft diet, a normal diet may be beneficial for preserving condyle articular surface and directing bone remodeling in TMJ-OA rats.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152029
JournalAnnals of Anatomy
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Bone density
  • Bone remodeling
  • Bone resorption
  • Micro-CT
  • Osteophyte
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder


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