Jaw joint problems are problems that have an increasing incidence in the society and seriously reduce the quality of life. Jaw joint problems, which cause loss of basic functions such as eating, chewing and speaking, are usually caused by stress and teeth grinding. However, there may be many other reasons behind the problem. Treatment of the ailment varies depending on the source and severity of the problem.
What Causes Jaw Joint Problems?
Jaw joint problems are disorders that occur in the joint tissues and bones that connect the lower and upper jaws. Jaw joint problems, which are caused by many different reasons such as wrong treatments, excessive stress, acquired habits and traumas, progress over time. In cases that are not treated at the right time, the symptoms increase depending on the time spent and can have serious consequences, up to locking in the jaw. For this reason, it is very important to treat jaw joint problems in the early period. Although jaw problems can develop due to many different reasons, they are usually caused by:
- Deformation of the jaw due to the accident
- Jaw opening-closing problems
- Nail biting habit
- chewing too much gum
- Posture disorders
- False dental treatments
- Upper and lower tooth disorders
- teeth grinding at night
Symptoms of Jaw Joint Problems
People suffering from jaw joint disorders feel pain in the jaw area for many years. Disturbances, especially during chewing and speaking, are among the most common symptoms. Since the source of the problem is variable, the symptoms that occur also differ from person to person, but in general they are as follows:
- Difficulty eating and chewing
- Swelling in one part of the face
- Inability to open the mouth too much
- Clicking sound from the jaw
- Jaw locking or jaw protrusion
- tinnitus or pain
- Severe headache
- Commenting while eating
- Pain around the eyes
- Stiffness and pain in the neck
How Are Jaw Joint Problems Treated?
Jaw joint problems are among the most common disorders in society and tend to progress over time. Therefore, jaw joint problems should be treated in a timely manner. The aim of the treatment in these problems, which develop due to many different reasons, is to increase the quality of life by regaining the chewing and eating functions that the person has lost. Especially for people who have difficulties during their daily routines, jaw joint problems create a big problem and have important consequences such as having an unhealthy life as well as lowering self-confidence. Therefore, it is aimed to give the person a painless and normal life with the treatment of the jaw joint.
The treatment plan for jaw joint problems is determined according to the severity of the disease and it is extremely important that the whole process is carried out in cooperation with the patient-doctor. After the necessary diagnosis and examinations, the planned treatment may include more than one application.
- First of all, it is recommended that the patient be fed with soft foods that do not require too much chewing and jaw movement and do not tire the mouth. In this way, excessive pressure on the jaw joint and chewing muscles is reduced.
- Ice compresses and hot applications are especially suitable for patients with on/off problems. In addition to these applications, various exercises can be done to strengthen the jaw muscles.
- Medicines prescribed by the dentist help to relieve muscle pain and eliminate the contraction in the jaw muscles. Pain relievers, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs can be used together.
- Botulinum toxin botox applications, which reduce the effectiveness of chewing muscles, can be applied especially in jaw joint problems caused by clenching the teeth. In this way, it is aimed to relax the muscles and reduce the pressure on the joint.
- Apparatuses called splinters that are placed between the teeth and separate the lower and upper jaws from each other are used to correct incorrectly learned jaw closure problems. These devices, which are put on and removed, are continued until the person gains the jaw closing function in a healthy way. Depending on the person's problem, the apparatus may need to be worn only at night or during the day.
- The electrical nerve stimulation method called TENS is used to relax the facial muscles and jaw joint. With the low-level electric current given to the patient, the muscles are relaxed and the complaint of pain is eliminated.
- By injecting anesthetic drugs or painkillers into the facial muscles, the patient's complaints are relieved. Injection therapy also helps to stretch the jaw muscles.
- Some cases can only be corrected with surgery. With the operation performed under general anesthesia, the deformation in the jaw joint is removed and the tumor structures, if any, are removed. Surgery is also required to treat serious fractures and injuries.
Depending on the needs of the person, one or more of the above methods can be applied together. The determining factor in the treatment is the cause and level of jaw joint problems. At this stage, the harmony between the physician and the patient is very important and the success rate of the treatments applied under the control of a specialist physician is extremely high.