Temporomandibular Joint Disorders and Treatment
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the mandible to the skull. The diseases involve the joint and masticatory muscles. It is very common in population and more frequent in woman. Usually people affected are between 20 and 40 years old.
What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?
• Pain and difficulty during jaw movement Orofacial pain especially around ear, temple or cheek, occasionally tinnitus headache, neck pain
• Joint noises like clicking, popping Locked jaw, dislocated jaw
• Continuous tension and fatigue of jaw Feeling that the teeth do not meet together properly Swelling and asymmetrical face
Having one of more symptoms listed above can be a sign of TMJ disorder.
Genetics, trauma, bad habits like teeth clenching or grinding, malocclussion (problematic upper and lower teeth contact), stress or degeneration, hormones, inflammation, neoplasia can be the causes of TMJ diseases.
What are the TMJ diseases?
• Disc displacement resulting in restricted jaw opening, noises or gliding of mandible Displacement of jaw Aplasia, hipoplasia,
• Hiperplasia or neoplasia of the joint Inflammatory diseases like synovitis, arthritis, poliarthritis Osteoarthritis and later ankylosis (ossification of the joint resulting in immobilisation)
The diagnosis is got after a thorough clinical and radiological examination and the proper treatment can be planned.
Non-surgical treatment includes muscle excersizes, medication when indicated, and mechanical treatment which aim at providing correct occlusial relations. Splints (thin transparent molds) are made individually. They relieve the symptoms and show the necessity of adjustment and reorganizing of occlusion.
Problems are defined by the dentist and treated by a prosthetic or orthodontic approach. Severe cases are treated surgically.
Patients under therapy should avoid extreme moves and eliminate the stress factor with psychiatric help if necessary.