Treating temporomandibular joints

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) malfunction can manifest itself in many ways. Patients struggle with symptoms such as jawbone cracking and popping, headaches, pain when biting into hard foods, pain in the muscles responsible for mouth opening, limitation or even loss of the ability to open the mouth. Studies have shown that a large proportion of the population – 20 to 40% – may be affected by TMJ disorders.

Causes of temporomandibular joint problems

There can be many reasons for the malfunction of the temporomandibular joint. The most common include various types of malocclusion and occlusal abnormalities, missing teeth (especially posterior teeth), muscle overload, bruxism (grinding and/or clenching of teeth), stress, arthritis and other degenerative changes, poor posture, spinal defects, trauma (e.g. accidents during sports, traffic accidents).

Diagnostics of temporomandibular joint disorders

In order to make a correct diagnosis, we conduct a detailed interview, carry out a manual examination of the entire dental system, and perform X-ray imaging with the use of highly precise three-dimensional tomography (cone beam computed tomography, CBCT).

Treating temporomandibular joints

In the first stage of treatment, we use splint therapy. It is designed to eliminate pain, which is the most common reason patients seek help from a dentist. However, in most cases (about 90%), the use of splints eliminates only the symptoms and not the actual cause of temporomandibular joint problems. Therefore, the patient is then referred for treatment with orthopedic appliances (changing the position of the mandible in relation to the maxilla) and orthodontic devices (effective and convenient treatment with the Invisalign system). This leads to the remodeling of the stomatognathic system and healing of the temporomandibular joint.