Jaw joint disorders, which are common in the society recently, are functional disorders of the chewing system and seriously affect the quality of life of patients. It causes pain by limiting even daily routine activities such as yawning, talking and eating. Clenching, grinding and clenching are among the causes of the discomfort that occurs as a result of the loss of harmony of the surface of the jaw joint and the disc in the joint.
Dt. from Yeni Yüzyıl University Gaziosmanpaşa Hospital, Department of Dental Health. Turgay Malikli gave information about 'Jaw joint disorders'.
Jaw joint disorders are disorders seen in the bony and soft tissues in the jaw joint that connects the lower jaw and the upper jaw. Symptoms of mild jaw joint disorders may increase over time and turn into more advanced problems such as severe jaw joint pain, noise from the joint, jaw protrusion, sliding or under-opening of the jaw. If left untreated, serious symptoms can be observed, which can go as far as locking the jaw. Therefore, the earlier the treatment is started, the higher the success of the treatment.
There are many factors that predispose to jaw joint diseases. Among them, the most important symptoms are;
- Pain in chewing muscles;
- Sensitivity, wear, shaking and fracture can be seen in the teeth;
- Limitation of jaw movements and deviation in mouth opening direction (opening the jaw by sliding to one side while opening the mouth);
- Difficulty chewing;
- Noise (clicking sound) in the jaw joint;
- Head and neck pain, earache, tinnitus and dizziness.
Causes of jaw joint disorders:
- Constantly clenching and grinding the teeth at night (bruxism)
- Unilateral chewing due to dental disorders
- Missing teeth, high filling, closing disorders of the jaw
- Jaw fractures, head, neck and jaw traumas
- Chewing gum, thumb sucking, nail biting, biting hard objects such as pencils
- Talking on the phone for a long time
- congenital joint disorders
- Posture disorders, positions with the head and shoulders forward for a long time
- Diseases such as tumor, infection, inflammatory rheumatism
Treatment planning of jaw joint dysfunction is adjusted according to the cause of the disease. The methods used;
- Patient education and behavioral therapy
- Night plate – protection plate (occlusal splints) The aim of this treatment is to prevent the contraction of the masticatory muscles by increasing the vertical dimension loss due to the wear of the patient's teeth.
- Intra-articular applications (washing the inside of the joint)
- Surgical methods (in cases such as tumors)
- Physical therapy approaches (manual therapy applications, exercise programs, various electrotherapy agents)
- Depending on the needs of the treatment, rheumatologists, ear-nose-throat, physical therapy, psychiatrists and dentists (maxillary surgeons, orthodontists) work together.