Kvinnsland, S., I. Kvinnsland and A. B. Kristiansen. Effect of experimental traumatic occlusion on blood flow in the temporomandibular joint of the rat. Acta Odontol Scand. 51:293-8, 1993.

Fluorescent microspheres (FM) were used to visualize and semi-quantify blood flow in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) during experimental unilateral traumatic occlusion of the maxillary and mandibular molar teeth in 30 young rats. At different postoperative observation periods varying from 1 to 30 days FM were injected systemically, and the number of FM were counted in serial sections from the TMJ in a fluorescent microscope. Blood flow was related to the number of FM found in the fibrous connective tissue and bony condyle of the TMJ. A percentage increase in blood flow was found at 15 to 20 days on the experimental side, compared with the contralateral side. Furthermore, there was an increase in blood flow in both TMJs in the experimental animals compared with an unoperated control material of 10 animals. The study thus indicates that a local unilateral occlusal trauma initiates blood flow responses not only unilaterally but also in the TMJ on both sides in rats.