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The jaw joint complex of the teeth, muscles and joints – The jaw joints aspect – Part 4 – The Sounds – Professional Treatment

August 31, 2018

Muscle Treatment – Dentists often need to work with physiotherapists. The neck and upper back muscles support jaw movements and posture. Often poor posture or neck injuries can often affect the jaw muscles. Sometimes it’s best to correct the neck and back issues before definitive dental therapy begins. The dentist can assess the need to see a physiotherapist and the timing of such treatment. The body does not work in isolation, as everything is co-ordinated. As they say “it’s complicated!”.

Jaw joint dysfunction - occlusal splint appliance

Medication – In some cases pain associated with jaw joint issues anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety drugs, or antidepressants may need to be prescribed by a doctor or dentist.

Occlusal Splint – This appliance is a firm acrylic material that is used to prevent or control clenching or grinding of the teeth.

Occlusal splint on upper teeth

Dental Treatment – Correction of the bite may need to be done. Some examples of treatment:

Bridge cemented on the 2nd last molar on left and attached molar tooth in the space to right
Implant and crown to prevent the teeth tilting and the bite collapsing

Pain-relieving injections, electrical stimulations, ultrasound, laser therapy – applied into trigger points to relieve muscle and jaw joint and neck pain, and stimulate mobility.

Surgery – This is the last resort for people with jaw joint problems and is not often done.

Outlook

Jaw joint problems and discomfort are usually a temporary condition that clears up with home treatments and changes to a person’s lifestyle. However, if the jaw joints sounds worsens, especially if accompanied with pain, then seek treatment and assessment to address the underlying causes and to prevent other complications.

Next instalment- Prevention of Jaw Joint problems

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