TMJ treatment for children and teenagers
Paediatric and juvenile dentists are trained and prepared to treat TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) problems, an increasingly common problem in children, teenagers and young adults that causes pain in the jaw area. By knowing the TMJ disorders, in our dental clinic we can diagnose and treat this joint disorder.
What is TMJ in Dentistry?
The temporomandibular joint, from which the acronym TMJ comes from, is the joint that exists between the temporal bone of the skull and the jaw. They are two joints, one on each side (right and left), which function synchronously. This joint acts as a sliding <<hinge>> between the mandible and the skull, and thanks to it, the jaw can move smoothly up and down and side to side, allowing us, among other things, to speak and chew.
Temporomandibular disorders, commonly called TMJ disorders, are disorders that cause pain and dysfunction in the joints and muscles that control the movement of the jaw.
How is TMJ's pain healed?
Variable jaw pain is one of the most common TMJ problems reported by children, adolescents or young adults, and is characterized as a dull ache, localized in the joint itself or in adjacent structures. Although this problem manifests itself with greater intensity and frequency in teenagers and adults than in children, we should keep in mind that it can appear at any age, and for this reason it is essential to go to the children’s dental clinic as soon as it is detected.
TMJ pain should be correctly assessed by the paediatric and juvenile dentist in order to make a proper diagnosis, and by means of this, establish a treatment plan and solve the pain in the TMJ joint area. Devices such as unloading splints and soft laser application, are recommended in certain cases by the paediatric dentist or dentist for children, adolescents or young adults, and on other occasions, interconsultation with TMJ specialists from other areas (such as physiotherapists, osteopaths, etc.) may be advised.
How to address the habit of clenching or grinding teeth at night?
The habit of clenching or grinding teeth during sleep in children is very common. However, this habit called nocturnal bruxism can produce discomfort from excessive jaw clenching when this behavior persists into adolescence.