Jaw Joint Disorders
Pain radiating to the face can be very diverse. One of the common causes of pain that radiates to the eye area, anterior ear area, cheek muscles, under the jaw and temples can be jaw joint (Temporomandibular Joint – TMJ) disorder. These pains can often be accompanied by sounds coming from the joints, locking of the jaw, and the jaw sliding to one side when opening the mouth.
The jaw joint is the structure that allows the lower jawbone, the only mobile bone among the facial bones, to connect to the skull base and move. It plays a very important role in the relationship between the upper and lower jaw bones and in the dental closure system. This complex joint structure; It is balanced and healthy with the harmonious functioning of many structures such as muscles, fibers, cartilage disc, the relationship between the lower and upper jaw bones. If this harmony is disturbed, the jaw joint is also disturbed.
Why Do Jaw Joint Disorders Occur?
Although jaw joint disorder is usually a chronic disease; sometimes patient complaints can occur suddenly due to reasons such as difficult tooth extraction, traffic accident, impact, general anesthesia, intense stress. Due to the complex structure of the joint, its treatment should be performed by a multidisciplinary team of specialized dentists who have worked on this subject. It is very important that the maxillofacial surgeon, prosthodontist, orthodontist, otolaryngologist, psychologist and physical therapist work in coordination during the treatment process in order to reveal the cause of the patient’s pain and to perform the treatment.
What are the Treatment Methods?
Non-surgical treatment options include alternatives such as stress therapy, joint plate, medication, physical therapy, as well as permanent treatments such as orthodontic treatment and prosthetic restoration to eliminate the causes of the disease. Surgical treatments such as arthrocentesis, arthroscopy, botox application and some joint operations are also available.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT JAW JOINT DISORDER
– What is teeth grinding or clenching?
Teeth grinding is a disease that is mostly observed during sleep at night and can cause serious discomfort in the future if no precautions are taken. It occurs when the stress accumulated during the day is released during sleep at night and the teeth unconsciously slide over each other.
-What problems does teeth grinding or clenching cause?
When teeth grinding and clenching are persistent and not prevented, it leads to problems such as wear of the teeth, fracture of the teeth, recession of the gums and the resulting cold-hot sensitivity, formation of joint diseases due to excessive load on the jaw joint, and disturbance of the surrounding sounds. These loads, which are transmitted to the jaw joint area through the teeth, cause pain and irreversible changes in the area. For this reason, early consultation with a dentist plays an important role.
-How is teeth grinding or clenching treated?
Soft or hard night plates, which are prepared by measuring the teeth and worn at night, are recommended for treatment. These aligners need to be renewed at regular intervals. In addition, reducing the stress in daily life is important for the success of the treatment.
-What is a joint splint?
They are transparent plates that are used in the upper or lower jaw and produced individually to regulate the jaw closure and relax the chewing muscle. Relaxation occurs in the joint as the muscle length is lengthened. In addition, since the teeth are protected against teeth grinding and clenching, damage to the teeth is reduced.
-How long does treatment with joint splinting take?
It takes a total of 2 sessions, including the construction, measurement and delivery of the splint. It is important for the patient to come to periodic controls according to the course of treatment.
-What should be considered in jaw joint treatment?
Communication with the dentist is very important during the treatment process. Especially in combined treatment methods, periodic controls are also important for the course of treatment. The medications recommended by the dentist should be used regularly, exercises should be done regularly if recommended, harmful habits should be avoided, and diet should be observed if recommended by the dentist. If splint treatment, which is a kind of prosthesis, is added to the treatment, the splint should be used regularly as recommended by the dentist and the doctor’s recommendations should be followed. The first week, third week and monthly check-ups should be made when using a splint plate.
-How to recognize healing in jaw joint treatment?
Recovery in jaw joint treatment depends on the severity of the disease. In very severe cases, there may not always be a complete recovery. The main healing criterion here is that the patient can perform daily jaw movements (eating, speaking, swallowing, etc.) painlessly.
-Is talking too much one of the causes of jaw joint disorders?
There is no information on whether talking too much causes jaw joint disorders. However, movements that will cause the jaw joint to open at maximum range should be avoided.
-How to use the jaw to prevent jaw joint disorders (recommendations)
-First of all, oral and dental health should be taken care of
-Dentist visits every 6 months should not be neglected. Dental problems such as missing teeth, improperly made fillings or prostheses, tooth fractures and abrasions negatively affect the jaw joint if left untreated.
– Parafunctional habits such as lip biting, nail biting, pen biting should be avoided, incorrect posture and posture disorders should be corrected
– Stress, which causes teeth clenching and grinding and most frequently damages the jaw joint, should be avoided.