An early diagnosis is essential for a quick and gentle treatment.
The jaw joint is a double joint located in front of our ears. Thanks to its normal functioning we carry out daily activities such as eating and speaking. The number of alterations that can appear is enormous. Problems can appear in the jaw bone, in the cartilage, in the muscles or in the teeth. For this reason, oral and maxillofacial surgery is often the solution.
Causes, symptoms and treatment
The symptoms presented by patients are diffuse: headaches, earaches, tinnitus, muscle pain, inability to open the mouth. Sometimes these symptoms have been occurring for years in a timely manner and at peaks of stress more intense pain is unleashed. These patients have usually been visited by otorhinolaryngologists, neurologists and other specialists without finding relevant alterations in the physical examination or in the tests. An early diagnosis allows a quicker and less aggressive solution than if the diagnosis is made at an advanced stage.Sometimes the origin is mixed, there is a component of anatomical alteration of the masticatory apparatus and an emotional one.
To solve this pathology we have several therapeutic strategies:
– Unloading splints: in most cases it is the initial treatment and the confection is adjusted by a specialized dentist.
– Physiotherapy: with functional re-education a great control of the symptoms of muscular origin is achieved.
– Arthrocentesis and hyaluronic acid infiltrations: this is a minimally invasive solution that relieves patients’ symptoms and can be repeated periodically without side effects.
– Arthroscopic surgery: allows an accurate diagnosis of intrarticular problems and often correct them in situ and the patient usually improves in 90% of cases.
– Orthognathic surgery: when there is a problem in the fit of the upper teeth with the lower teeth, some patients undergo combined orthodontic and surgical treatment to correct their occlusion.
– Joint replacement with TMJ prosthesis: this alternative is gaining ground in the therapeutic algorithms for TMJ problems. It has been shown that early joint replacement allows better results and shortens the period of suffering of patients.