WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT DISORDERS?

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  • The temporomandibular joint disorder, a significant problem of today, is defined as a clinical problem including disorder of masticatory muscles, temporomandibular joint and associated structures, or both.

  • It also affects the functions such as eating, speaking, breathing, and swallowing, therefore it may lead to serious problems. Therefore, it is important to treat temporomandibular joint disorders.

  • The disease usually starts between the ages of 18 and 26 years, but admittance to a dental professional ranges 20 years to 50 years of age. The incidence is 4-6 times higher in women than in men. The incidence is increased with age. The disease is associated with the race, genetic, geographic and socio-economic status. Around 1/5 of patients require treatment, and 1/10 of patients undergone several treatments require a surgical treatment.

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  • In the clinical examination, the cusp of molars may seem abraded, the front teeth may have fractured and abraded parts, and front surface of teeth may have fractures and cracks.

  • The teeth may lose vitality due to heavy forces. Thus, teeth may become hypersensitive.

  • It may result in destruction of bone that surrounds the teeth and firmly holds them in the jaws as well as dental recession.

  • It may cause increase of masticatory muscles in volume and associated facial asymmetry.

What to do for treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders

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  • Initial treatment of teeth grinding

  • Patient education,

  • Eat soft food and avoid eating hard nuts such as hazelnuts and peanuts

  • Eat food in small bites and avoid chewing unilaterally

  • Avoid parafunctional activities (e.g., chewing gums, biting the end of a pencil, sucking fingers, and teeth grinding),

  • Support your chin when yawning and smiling (laughing),

  • Try to breathe through nose or take deep breaths instead of breathing through mouth or superficial breathing.

  • Avoid lying face down.

  • Try to keep your shoulders and head straight, avoid posture bending down, and do regular exercises to prevent these.

  • Always remember the rest position where lips are closed and the tongue is on the roof of the mouth.

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