temporomandibular joint

The jaw joint, that is, the temporomandibular joint, is a complex structure consisting of muscles, fibers, discs and bones. Inside this joint are muscles, fibers, ligaments, a collagenous articular disc (cartilage), vascular and nerve bundle, and joint fluid (Synovial fluid) that hold the joint in place. This structure, which is quite complex in the anatomical sense, is also functionally different from other joints in that it makes multidimensional movements. Most joints in the body make 2-dimensional movements. The jaw joint moves in 3 dimensions as front, back and side. At the same time, besides its main functions such as speaking, chewing and swallowing, there is continuous jaw movement, including sleep.

Jaw joint diseases are caused by factors that prevent the harmonious functioning of these anatomical structures. These can be temporary or long-term. Possible causes of jaw joint discomfort include trauma to the head and neck region during traffic accidents, habit of clenching teeth, rheumatoid arthritis affecting the whole body, muscle spasms due to grinding or clenching teeth in acute stress situations, open bite from orthodontic anomalies, temporomandibular joint arthritis and tumors. Often, when jaw joint discomfort occurs, it feels like the jaw is about to pop out or lock up for a moment. In some cases, pain occurs while eating, talking or resting, the mouth may not be opened very wide, and sometimes there is a sound from the joints. This disorder is more common in female patients between the ages of 20-30.

The most common joint disorders are traumas and disc displacements due to the extension of the joint ligaments as a result of excessive forces. Sounds called ‘clicking’ and ‘pop’ occur during the displacement of the joint disc during the chewing movement. These sounds are one of the important symptoms of joint disease.

Other symptoms of jaw joint diseases include:
1- Restriction in mouth opening,
2- Pain reflected in the ear, face, teeth, eyes,
3- Pain in chewing muscles,
4- Percent asymmetry,
5- Keeping the chin open,
6- Pain reflected in the ear, face, teeth, eyes,

Joint diseases start with simple joint noises and muscle pains, and if precautions are not taken, it can lead to limitation in mouth opening and locking of the jaw. The method in the treatment of joint disease, as in all diseases, is primarily to eliminate the factor. If it has been determined that the joint pain is caused by orthodontic disorders as a result of the examinations, it is recommended to correct the closing disorder with orthodontic treatment after joint splint, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmic drug treatment. In this sense, missing and faulty teeth are corrected, closing problems are solved orthodontically. The most common application for the joint is the application of night plaque, which will help to improve the dental and muscular relationship. With this plate to be made, early contacts in the teeth are corrected and the contraction pattern of the muscles is changed. After the patient is relieved, the cause of the joint problem is eliminated with the necessary filling, prosthesis and orthodontic applications. However, if the source of pain is arthritis or a tumor involving the area, then surgical intervention may be required. The most extreme treatment of joint discomfort is surgical intervention for the jaw joint. In cases where the jaw opening is restricted, it is very difficult for patients to feed and talk. In this case, the joint head is surgically removed.

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