About Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

The temporomandibular joint is a hinge, which connects the jaw to the temporal bones of the skull that are in front of the ears. It allows for the up and down, and side to side movement of the jaw, to allow talking, chewing and yawning. Problems in the muscles of the jaw and the face are known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD). The main reason causing TMD is not found yet but it is believed that symptoms arise from problems in the muscles of the jaw or in the joint. Causes that can lead to TMD are:

  • Injury to the haw, joint or muscles of the head and neck
  • Grinding or clenching teeth
  • Movement of the disc between the ball and socket of the joint
  • Arthritis in the joint
  • Stress which can cause to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench teeth

TMD often causes severe pain and discomfort, which may be temporary or last for many years. It can affect one or both sides of the face. TMD is most likely to occur in females than men and it’s more common between the ages of 20 – 40. Common symptoms of TMD are

  • Pain and tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck, shoulders and around the ear, when chewing, speaking or opening the mouth wide
  • Problems trying to open the mouth wide
  • Jaws get stuck or lock in the open or closed position
  • Clicking, popping or grating sound in the jaw joint when the mouth is opened or closed or chewing
  • Tired feeling in the face
  • Problems chewing or sudden uncomfortable bites
  • Swelling on the side of the face

The dentist will take a full face X-ray to clearly view the jaws, temporomandibular joints and teeth to find out other problems. Other tests like MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computer tomography) may be done. In the MRI it can be seen if the TMJ disc is in the correct place as the jaws move and in a CT scan the bone details of the joint can be seen.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment Procedure

There are various types of treatment for a TMD like

  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) – therapy uses low level electrical currents to provide pain relief by relaxing the jaw joint and facial muscles
  • Ultrasound – deep heat is applied to the joint which can relieve soreness or improve mobility
  • Trigger point injections – medication for pain and anesthesia is injected into the tender muscles called trigger points for relief
  • Radio wave therapy – radio waves stimulate the joint which increase blood flow and ease pain
  • Low level laser therapy – lowers pain and inflammation and helps the neck move freely and mouth open wider

If these treatments don’t provide help then there are 3 types of surgeries that are available as options

Arthrocentesis – used if there is no major history of TMJ, but the jaws are locked. Done with local anesthesia. Needles are inserted into the joint to dilute any inflammatory chemicals from the jaw.  A special tool may be used to get rid of the damaged tissue or dislodge a disc stuck in the joint or to unstick the joint.

Arthroscopy – done with an arthroscope, which is a special tool with a lens and light on it. General anesthesia will be given and a small cut will be made in front of the ear and a tool will be inserted. It is hooked up on a video screen so the joint and area around it can be examined. The inflamed tissue may be removed or realign the disc or joint.

Open joint surgery – depending on the cause of TMD, arthroscopy may not be possible so this kind of surgery may be needed if

  • Bony structures in the jaw joint are wearing
  • Tumor is in or around the joint
  • Joint is scarred

Surgery is done using general anesthesia and all of the area of the joint will be opened up.

Suitable Patients for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment

  • Patients must experience at least one of the symptoms above
  • Patients must be at a good health condition
  • Patients must be over the age of 20

Before Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment

• Patients must stop smoking from 3 days before the treatment

• Patients must avoid alcohol from 2 days before the treatment

After Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment

• The surgical site needs to be kept dry for the first four days after the treatment

• Depending on the treatment performed special garments may need to be worn

• Medicine prescribed by the dentist must be taken correctly

Risks of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment

Just like every treatment there are some risks with Temporomandibular Joint Disorder treatment, such as

  • Allergic reaction to material used
  • Sensitivity
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling

Definition

General anesthesia – variety of medications given to ensure unconsciousness, loss of control of reflexes. The patient is put to sleep to not feel any pain or discomfort

First day of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment

The patients will attend a consultation with the dentist and will be advised about the treatment and their condition. The patient will then be taken through a couple of tests that are required before the treatment; X-rays will be taken to check the state of the jaws and teeth. Other tests like MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computer tomography) may be done. In the MRI it can be seen if the TMJ disc is in the correct place as the jaws move and in a CT scan the bone details of the joint can be seen.  If desired, patients can spend the day to rest and attend the clinic for treatment the next day.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment will be performed. The duration will take around an hour to perform but depending on the type of treatment performed the duration can increase.  All types of treatments are performed on an outpatient basis using local or general anesthesia depending on which is necessary.

Second day of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment

The patient will attend a final visit to the clinic, if a surgery is performed, to check that everything is normal. The patient will be advised with medication and instructed about caring for the jaws and teeth and once the treatment is over the patient is ready to return to their destination, or if they want they can enjoy their time in Turkey.

Notes

• Trip schedule may vary. medicTurkey patient relations will provide you a detailed trip schedule before the travel.

• For details on accommodation, transportation and other services, please check the SERVICES page.

What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

Problems in the jaw and muscles in the face are known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD). The exact reasons causing TMD is not found yet but it is believed that symptoms arise from problems in the muscles of the jaw or the joint. Causes that can lead to TMD are:

  • Injury to the haw, joint or muscles of the head and neck
  • Grinding or clenching teeth
  • Movement of the disc between the ball and socket of the joint
  • Arthritis in the joint
  • Stress which can cause to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench teeth

How is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment done?

There are various types of treatment for a TMD like

  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) – therapy uses low level electrical currents to provide pain relief by relaxing the jaw joint and facial muscles
  • Ultrasound – deep heat is applied to the joint which can relieve soreness or improve mobility
  • Trigger point injections – medication for pain and anesthesia is injected into the tender muscles called trigger points for relief
  • Radio wave therapy – radio waves stimulate the joint which increase blood flow and ease pain
  • Low level laser therapy – lowers pain and inflammation and helps the neck move freely and mouth open wider

If these treatments don’t provide help then there are 3 types of surgeries, which are also other options:

  • Arthrocentesis
  • Arthroscopy
  • Open joint surgery

How long does Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment take?

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment takes around an hour to perform; depending on the type of treatment performed the duration can extend to several hours or take a shorter time.

When can I return to work?

Patients can return to work within 2 days after the treatment as long as they feel comfortable.

Who can have a Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment?

• Patients must experience at least one of the symptoms

• Patients must be at a good health condition

• Patients must be over the age of 20

Are there any risks of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment?

Just like every treatment there are some risks with Temporomandibular Joint Disorder treatment such as

  • Allergic reaction to material used
  • Sensitivity
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling

How long do I need to stay in Turkey?

The recommended stay in Turkey for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment is 1 – 2 days including consultation before and after the treatment. The duration of staying in Turkey can increase by a couple of days depending on the type of treatment performed.

Devices used in Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment

An arthroscope is used in a temporomandibular joint disorder treatment, which is a special tool with a lens and light on it. A laser device is also used depending on the type of treatment performed. Computer tomography device and magnetic resonance imaging device is also used.

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Temporomandibular
Joint Disorders
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The treatment is done on an
outpatient basis so there is no
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1 – 2 days depending
on the treatment
performed

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