Direct or indirect trauma to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) may cause several injuries such as fibrous adhesion, ankylosis and fracture. The aim of this study was to examine and compare the histological changes of TMJ and adjacent soft tissue after direct or indirect trauma to TMJ. In this study, a total of 35 healthy young adult guinea pigs were exposed to direct and indirect trauma to their TMJ, and histologic evaluation was done after 24 h, 7, 15 and 45 days. Hemorrhage was the most frequent complication, following that enlargement of the disc, adhesion of the disc to the condyle and fracture of the condyle were seen in both groups. There were regenerative changes in adjacent muscles of the TMJ in indirect trauma group when compared to direct trauma group. Regenerative changes were more obvious on days 15 and 45. As a result, it may be suggested that when a trauma comes to the maxillo-mandibular complex, even TMJ is indirectly affected, TMJ and its adjacent soft tissues should also be examined clinically and followed closely.