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Temporomandibular Joint Surgery - Essay Example

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Temporomandibular joint surgery is needed when the joint anterior to the ear that attaches the lower jaw, or mandible, to the skull. It has an important function in feeding as a principal body part for mastication. It also facilitates speech among humans. Pain on and dysfuntion of the jaw, associated muscles and ear, as well as clicking and popping sounds upon jaw movement are indicative of temporomandibular joint disorder, which may necessitate surgery…
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Temporomandibular Joint Surgery
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Download file to see previous pages Because it is the most commonly used joint in the body, there is a cartilage in between the condyle and articular fossa, thus lessening the friction and smoothens the movement of the jaw (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 2010; American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 2008). Because of the TMJ joint, the jaw has a wide range of movements, which include opening and closing of mouth, and side-to-side movements. Because of the frequency of movement, there is a greater chance that the cartilaginous disk in between the socket and the condyle will be displaced. In addition, the amount of movement may cause the disk to develop perforation, thus preventing the smooth movement of the jaw. Conditions such as trauma and rheumatoid arthritis may also cause the joint parts to fuse together, inhibiting jaw movement all together (American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 2008). Treatment To treat such conditions, several treatment options are available. Conservative treatments for TMJ disorders do not need invasion of the face, jaw or joint through injection or surgery. Commonly, this is used to cure temporary TMJ disorders that do not get worse. The conservative treatment involves self-care practices, pain medications, and stabilization splints. For the approach to be highly effective, the patient should eat soft foods, apply ice on the painful area, avoid extensive jaw movements, and gently stretch the jaw for relaxation (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 2010; American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 2008). On the other hand, invasive treatments such as botox injection and surgery are also available. However, further studies on the use of botox injection on TMJ disorder are still under way (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 2010). TMJ Surgery In some cases, surgery is employed to treat TMJ disorder. Most surgical access is through the periauricular region, which is just anterior to the tragus of the ear. For thorough examination, surgery under magnification is suggested (Chow, 2007). In this treatment option, several procedures may be conducted. Disc repositioning is conducted when the cartilaginous disk is out of its normal position. If the disk chronically slips out between the condyle and the articular fossa, removal of the disk or discectomy may be considered. In articular eminence recontouring, the procedure aims to smoothen the articular fossa. On the other hand, partial and total joint replacements substitute either the disk, the condyle, or the articular fossa with metal parts (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2011). References American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), 2008. Web. July 11, 2011. Chow, T. Open Joint Surgery for Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), 2007. Dental Bulletin. 12(10). 19-21. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. TMJ Disorders, 2011. Web. July 11, 2011. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. TMJ (Temporomandibular ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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