What is Temporomandibular Joint?
Temporomandibular joint is located in front of our ear and provides movement of lower jaw. The joint consist of; temporal bone, condyle part of mandibular, joint cartilage located between those two bones and muscles and fibers connected to them.
Temporomandibular joint Diseases and Disorders
Jaw clicking from the joint during opening and closing the jaw. It occurs together with signs including limitation and pain during opening the jaw. Head and neck pain, teeth abrasions, cracking and fractures, gingival recession. There are a lot of factors leading this situation. Those factors are;
- Big traumas (car accident or receiving a big strike to jaw)
- Small traumas (teeth grinding, teeth clenching, long term gum chewing)
- Inflammatory diseases (rheumatoid diseases, inflammatory diseases related with mandibular joint),
- Structural Defects of Teeth and Jaws (teeth crowding, open bite, deep or collapsed bite, protrusion or intrusion of lower jaw).
What is a Splint?
Splint is an appliance, which is applied to the lower or upper jaw, located between the teeth, clear and removable. It provides lower jaw which is get used to biting wrong position, to learn the correct bite, relaxation of the muscles and correct movement of the jaw. Due to the problem of the patient it can be required only putting it during nights or 24 hours including the meals.
In which conditions the splint is used?
Teeth always firmly contact each other for endurance of oral functions. Ideally we want to move teeth and joint harmonically. However, sometimes closing your teeth causes the mandibular joint dislocations. This situation can show itself with; abrasion of teeth, clicking or pain of mandibular joint located in front of ears, expansion and pain of chewing muscle located on the corner of jaw, Head pain Teeth clenching and grinding, Limitation of jaw movements, not opening completely, interlocking.
First of all, splint treatment can be performed if any treatment involving all the teeth like orthodontic treatment will be applied and if the patient have symptoms above when needed before putting the braces for making correct diagnosis.
How splint works?
Splint provides free and comfortable movement to the lower jaw by removing firm contacts of teeth with each other. A lower jaw and muscles connect to it that can have correct functioning provides, the correct position of lower jaw, disappearing disturbance and pain related with muscles and joint, arising a difference between habitual bite and bite which occurs when the joint is in correct position and making a correct diagnosis if orthodontic treatment will be started and preparing a proper treatment plan.