FOUR Main Categories of TMD Problems that Challenge Dentistry
“TMD/TMJ” problems are often not clearly defined amongst clinicians since the musculoskeletal occlusal signs and symptoms cross over into multiple areas involving the dental structural, general body postural, masticatory, occlusal, temporomandibular joints as well as biochemical and emotional (CNS) levels of this disorder.
TMD pain problems (or technically cranio-mandibular disorders) is not simply a temporomandibular joint problem or simply orofacial pain problem for all patients. There is typically key areas to which each TMD case may be rooted, although there can be overlapping problems of each of the following 4 areas as possibly secondary or tertiary.
The TMD patient and dentist should be able to identify, diagnose and know how to effectively treat each one of these areas of effective treatment is going to be successful. Not understanding one or more of these problems will lead to case failure and disappointment.
Each of these 4 main types of TMD problems have their unique and predominate problems which should be recognized, understood and effectively remedied by the treating clinician if resolution of the overall craniomandibular disorder and pain is to be resolved.
Inadvertently providing intra oral splints, deprogrammers, anterior discluding devies and even neuromuscular orthotics will not be proven successful unless the dentist understands the underlying issues of both gnathology and neuromuscular occlusion principles. Using K7 computerized jaw tracking, electromyograhpy (EMGs) and TENS will not be sufficient enough to resolve the underlying issues of TMD in a timely manner unless the clinician is trained and educated in the fundamentals of occlusion.