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Treatment modalities of
temporo-mandibular disorders
Dr.Sahar Taha, BDS, MS, Dip-(ABOD)
The most famous DOCTOR ,The most social
intelligence one ;) : Dr ayah
Dr did not mention the last 4 slides may be for the
next time :P
Every additional word written with underline form
best of luck
• Accurately diagnosing TMD can be a difficult and
confusing task because Factors are overlapped .
This is often true primarily because patient’s
symptoms do not always fit into one
• Factors that lead to confusion in TMD treatment:
Lack of adequate scientific evidence for soundly relating therapy to
treatment effects. no clear cause it is speculation .
Some etiologic factors contributing to TMD are difficult to control or
eliminate (e.g., emotional stress).
There are factors that lead to TMD which have yet to be identified
and which may not be influenced by present treatment methods.
TMJ is Adaptable
to specific situation
and may function
-Nutrition like who usually eat soft food
their muscle become atrophied /health
factors , TMJ
can’t adapt it so
problems will
-Life stressors
-Sleep disorders
-faulty Occlusion
TMD treatment modalities
Definitive therapy
– Aims to eliminate/treat
or alter the etiologic
– Parafunctional activity
has been a common
denominator for TMDs
– Malocclusion
– Emotional stress
Supportive therapy
– Directed toward altering
the patient’s symptoms
and often has no effect
on the etiology of the
• Pharmacologic therapy
Like the pain killer
• Physical therapy
• Para functional activity is linked to increased muscle
• In many instances, only after therapy begins, major
etiologic factors can be identified.
Definitive treatment- Occlusal therapy
• Any treatment that is directed toward altering the mandibular position
and/or occlusal contact pattern of the teeth then it is definitive treatment.
– Reversible occlusal therapy
• Occlusal splint: an acrylic appliance worn over the teeth of one arch
that has an opposing surface which creates and alters the
mandibular position and contact pattern of the teeth.
– Irreversible occlusal therapy
Selective grinding of the teeth
Restorative procedures” like if we have
no posterior teeth then it will
increase the load on the TMJ “
Orthodontic treatment
Surgical procedures” the last resort Rx”
• The splint “ reversible “ will offer optimum
ideal occlusion, therefore reducing
parafunctional activities when its worn.
• the splint made in a way to change the
occlusion to diagnose and to treat certain
causes and to identify the origin of the
problem if it from the muscles or the disk
Definitive treatment-Emotional stress therapy
One must be always aware of stress as an etiologic factor. However, there is no
way to be certain of the part that emotional stress plays in the disorder.
Therefore, reversible occlusal therapy is helpful in ruling out other etiologic factor
and thereby assisting in the diagnosis of emotional stress factors.
It is a psychological issue , how the body respond physiologically to psychological
This therapy take along time .. Months or even years depend on many factors :
The severity of the case , , The etiologic factor ,, honesty & cooperatively of the patient ,,
- Patient awareness
It is very important to Educate the patient about their condition. Patients are
usually unaware of the relationship between their condition, parafunctional
activity and stress.
Parafunction occurs almost entirely at the subconscious level. That is why
patients tend to deny any clenching or bruxism. They might even deny their
high stress level.
Bruxism “attriton of the occlusal surface of all teeth
– Voluntary avoidance
Avoid the stressors.
Try to bring the habits to the conscious level.
– Relaxation therapy
Teach the patient to relax the muscles engaged with hyperactivity.
• If pt benefited from the splint, then irreversible
occlucal therapy could be carried out. If pt did not
benefit from it, then the diagnosis is shifted toward
stress factors.
• The stress therapy indicated here is the one related to
increased stresses over daily routine. We are not
attempting to treat patients with psychosis or neurosis,
as those patients should be referred to the right
• Relaxation of the muscles can be achieved by asking
the patient to stretch and relax the muscles many
times to feel the exact relaxed state of the muscle.
Supportive therapy-Pharmacologic
Tranquilizing agents
Local anesthetics
Anti-inflammatory agents
Muscle relaxants
• To avoid drug abuse the medications should
be prescribed in regular dosages over a short
period of time, instead of prescribing PRN.
• Tranquilizing agents do not eliminate stress
but they merely alter the patient’s perception
or reaction to the stress.
• Placebo effect.
• Local anesthetic injection can be diagnostic as
Supportive therapy-Physical therapy
Coolant therapy
Massage therapy
Electrical stimulation therapy for
the atrophic muscles
Relaxation therapy
• Thermotherapy involves the application of heat packs to the painful
muscles for 10-15 min (not more than 30 min). Heat has been
thought to increase the blood circulation to the area reducing pain.
Can be done applying a warm moist towel on the muscles.
• Cold has been thought to encourage the relaxation of muscles in
spasm and relief pain. Ice can be applied directly to the area but not
for more than 5 min. you can do it intermittently. Ethyl chloride
spray can be also used. Spray it from a distance (1-2 feet) to the
muscles in a circular motion. The eyes, nose and mouth should be
covered before the application. It is flammable and should be
avoided in cardiac patients as it is potentially a cardiac depressant.
• Electrical stimulation leads to rhythmic contraction of the muscle
relieving spasms.
• Relaxation therapy can be considered definitive and supportive
Treatment-Acute muscle disorders
Definitive treatment
– Eliminate the etiological
factor (if identified)
– Reversible occlusal therapy
(occlusal splint)
– Irreversible occlusal therapy
– Emotional stress therapy
Supportive treatment
– Restrict mandibular
movements to painless
limits,, during eating waning
– Soft diet, small bites
– Analgesics and antiinflammatory drugs
– Muscle exercises are not
indicated, since they can
elicit pain and aggravate
cyclic myospasms.
• If the treatment for myospasms has not resolved the
symptoms in 10-14 days then myositis is likely to be present.
Long term behavioral modifications such as progressive
relaxation and biofeedback training are indicated in that
• Etiologic factors: trauma, parafunctional activity, blow to
the joint, prolonged mouth opening, erupting 3rd molar,
intra-muscular injection, a high restoration….
• Definitive treatment of myositis, if the etiology is direct
spread of infection, would be antibiotic treatment.
• Irreversible occlusal therapy is indicated for localized
iatrogenic occlusal problems.
• Once the symptoms resolve, exercises can be used to regain
normal mandibular movements.
Treatment-Disc interference disorders
Definitive treatment
– Directed toward achieving
a more normal disccondyle relationship
– Biting down on a
separator we increase its
number gradually
– Occlusal CR bite splint
– Anterior repositioning
splint (ARS)
– The last resort ,
irreversible one :Surgery
CR : most anterior superior
position of the condyle
Supportive treatment
– Aims to eliminate pain- if
– Same as supportive
treatment of muscle
• ARS is made at the earliest forward position that will
eliminate the click. It should be worn for 2-4 months,
while the natural repair process of the joint tissues
takes place.
Treatment-Inflammatory disorders of TMJ
Definitive treatment
– Condition is usually selflimiting if trauma is the
cause (synovitis and
retrodiscitis (external))
– Antibiotic treatment
(synovitis, inflammatory
– ARS (retrodiscitis (internal
– Surgery
– Occlusal splint- ↓
overloading for
degenerative joint diseases
Supportive treatment
– Limit mandibular
movements to the painless
– Soft diet- small bites
– Analgesics
– Thermotherapy 4-5 times a
– A single injection of
corticosteroids to the
capsular tissues (synovitis
and retrodiscitis (external))
– IMF to treat acute
malocclusion resulting from
retrodiscitis (external
Since pain is constant in these disorders, muscle •
symptoms would arise which may complicate the
Occlusal splint
Occlusal splint