Idiopathic condylar resorption is a disorder of the mandibular condyles of unknown etiology. One hypothesis is deficiency in 17-beta estradiol.

Clinical features:

(1) primarily affects females in early adulthood (20's and 30's)

(2) progressive, bilateral and symmetrical volume loss of mandibular condyles and rami

(3) steepening of the mandibular plane angle with loss of chin projection and anterior open bite

(4) reduction in the posterior facial height


Secondary condylar resorption occurs if there is a condition (such as avascular necrosis or autoimmune disease) that can explain the condition.


If no cause can be identified, then it is termed idiopathic (diagnosis of exclusion).

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