Recapturing the Articular Disc or Repositioning the Mandibular Condyle? What about Rethinking the Concept as the Recovery of the Physiological Relationship of the Head of the Mandible with the Articular Disc. Patients with a long history of pain. Case series. First Section.

Recapture the articular disc, repositioning the mandibular condyle?

What about rethinking the concept as the recovery of the physiological relationship of the mandible head with the articular disc ,WHEN IT IS POSSIBLE.

And when is it not possible? What is the differential diagnosis? WHAT CAN WE OFFER TO OUR PATIENTS?

What type of orthotic or intraoral device to use? What is the purpose of an orthotic  in a TMJ Pathology treatment? Repositioning the jaw, recapturing the articular discs? Is this always possible? DEPEND ON THE DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS!

Does it have changes in the articular structures of the temporomandibular joint?

Does it have distortions in the horizontal, vertical and transverse posture of the craniomandibular complex?

How are the bones?

How’s the cartilage?

How’s the articular disk?

How are the muscles in this system?

How is the cervical spine in relation to the whole system?

How is the relation of the vertebral column with the other parts of the system?

The teeth, the two temporomandibular joints and the postural musculature are parts of the same bone, the mandible. They are deeply interrelated and interdependent in growth, form, and function. An abnormality in one, profoundly affects the others.

1 frente

A 30-year-old female patient presents at the clinic with a history of headache, pain in the forehead, pain and stiffness in the nape of the neck, left eyebrow pain, pain behind the right eye, and pain in the right shoulder. The patient reports TMJ pain (temporomandibular joint) on the right side.

The patient reports bilateral crackling, non-specific facial pain, and muscle tremor, difficulty opening the mouth, difficulty in chewing and mandibular locking.

Summary report written by the patient:

I do not remember a sudden drop where there might have been some kind of injury.
At 6 years of age I was a gymnast. I always had falls, front, back and head. But there were protections on the floor.

Near 8 years old, I extract a molar from the lower left side. I think that from this I have always forced more chewing on the right side.

At approximately 13/14 years of age, I remember starting the cracks on the right side. On this side I had a cross bite and a deciduous canine that “bit” behind the lower tooth.

At this stage, the crackling became more frequent, causing a bit of difficulty to fully open the mouth.  When trying to open the mouth without the snap, the opening becomes smaller than after the click. That is, if I do not play with the jaw, the mouth does not open completely.

In 2004 I had the first “lockup”. I remember being in winter and cold. I tried to do the “game” of the jaw and I could not open the mouth. Then I forced myself to open my mouth and I felt a strong crack, followed by pain in the ear / nose. The impression was that it had displaced some bone / nerve.

From this episode, whenever I force more the region, the locking happens. Ex: when I eat meats, candy, peanuts. Things that I need to force when chewing.

In 2008 I put orthodontic appliance to make the corrections. In the treatment, I made a process of spacing the teeth, with a device in the roof of the mouth to open the arch. I kept my teeth apart for a while.

After finishing the treatment, corrected the teeth, the clicks returned lighter. Approximately 1 year later, the locking returned as well. I started with headaches and cervical pain. I felt slight tingling in the head.

In 2015 I started to hear some kind of “sand” on the left side. Then I got pregnant and in this period began the crackling also on the left side. In February 2017 I had the first “lock” on the left side.

Now when I feel the locking, I try to relax the muscles well, leaving the jaw loose for a few minutes. Sometimes it returns to normal anyway, other times I have to force it with the opening of the mouth, causing a strong crack.

2 foto inicial perfil

Current information:

When I close my mouth, I feel my jaw line back slightly, to “marry” the bite. To keep my mouth “loose” and comfortable, I have to snap both sides, and let the jaw loose.

When I try to open my mouth without the snaps, the opening becomes smaller than after the click. That is, if I do not play with the jaw, the mouth does not open completely.

Crashes usually occur:

– Yawning;

– In the morning (awake with the jaw locked);

– Eating meats.

2 tomo

CT: Part of the initial study of the patient sent before the consultation requested by another professional.

Anamnesis and clinical examination are a key part in the diagnosis of patients with TMJ pathology.

Computed tomography is an excellent image, but when we treat a synovial joint in a patient with TMJ pathologies, CT does NOT PROVIDE THE INFORMATION OF THE SOFT TISSUES.

Magnetic Nuclear Resonance (NMR) can give a lot of information and not just the position of the disk. It is essential to have the knowledge to KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THIS INFORMATION.

We cannot treat a patient with mandible head necrosis or with medullary edema or arthrosis or rheumatoid arthritis or lupus in the same way that we treat another patient with only a wrong position of the jaw.

The temporomandibular joints of all these patients need to be decompressed, but that is only part of the problem.

3 dentes inicHabitual occlusion of the patient on the day of the consultation.

4 oclusaisUpper and lower occlusal views of the patient prior to treatment.

Orthodontic treatment contention wire is observed between the right and left lower canines.

5 panoramica

Initial panoramic radiograph of the patient before treatment.

Orthodontic treatment contention wire is observed between the right and left lower canines.

6 laminografia

The laminography of the temporomandibular joints shows a modification of the growth axis of the mandibular condyles in both the left and right caused by a traumatism in the early childhood, (fracture in green stick).

Retro position of both mandibular heads in the articular fossae.

TMJ laminography in habitual occlusion and open mouth.

cicatriz do queixoThree-dimensional asymmetries in the head of the condyle may have been caused by different etiologies and cause morphofunctional pathologies.

Changes in the orientation of the mandible head occur in patients who have suffered blows in the chin region, either anteroposterior, vertical or lateral. We can observe in these cases a deformation of the head of the mandible in the form of curvature, with an anterior concavity, which in some cases may be so important which produces a compression of the retrodiscal region, causing severe symptoms.

7 frontal

Frontal radiography of the patient in habitual occlusion before treatment.

Orthodontic treatment contention wire is observed between the right and left lower canines.

8 teleperfil

Lateral radiograph of the patient in habitual occlusion before treatment.

9 c 7Lateral and cervical radiograph of the patient in habitual occlusion before treatment. Note the loss of cervical lordosis and rectification of the cervical spine.

16 rnm inicial 1

MRI: sagittal slices of the left TMJ in the closed mouth before treatment. There is an anteroversion of the mandibular condyle. The mandibular head is in retro position.

The articular disc is displaced anteriorly, with reduction in maneuvers in open mouth.

Important retrodiscal compression.

17 rnm inicial 2

MRI: sagittal slices of the left TMJ in the closed mouth before treatment. There is an anteroversion of the mandibular condyle. The mandibular head is in retro position.

The articular disc is displaced anteriorly, with reduction in maneuvers in open mouth.

Important retrodiscal compression.

19 rnm inicial4

MRI: sagittal slices of the right TMJ in the closed mouth before treatment. There is an anteroversion of the mandibular condyle. The mandibular head is in retro position.

The articular disc is displaced anteriorly, with reduction in maneuvers in open mouth.

Important retrodiscal compression.

20 rnm dir inicial5

MRI: sagittal slices of the right TMJ in the closed mouth before treatment. There is an anteroversion of the mandibular condyle. The mandibular head is in retro position.

The articular disc is displaced anteriorly, with reduction in maneuvers in open mouth.

Important retrodiscal compression.

21 rnm inicial 6

MRI: sagittal slices of the right TMJ in the closed mouth before treatment. There is an anteroversion of the mandibular condyle. The mandibular head is in retro position.

The articular disc is displaced anteriorly, with reduction in maneuvers in open mouth.

Important retrodiscal compression.

22 frontal rnm inicial 7MRI: frontal slices of the right and the left temporomandibular joints, closed mouth in habitual occlusion before treatment.

The frontal slice of the right and left temporomandibular joint evidences a severe loss of joint space.

24 atm aberta24a eletromiografia dinãmica habitual rolos de algodão

Dynamic electromyography record of the patient in habitual occlusion and with cotton rolls on the right side (second column), left side (third column) and both right and left sides (fourth column).

Note the improvement in recruitment of motor units in the fourth column.

25 registro cineciografico inicial

Patient’s initial record for the construction of the DIO ( intraoral device)

To correctly evaluate the Maxilomandibular relationship we should begin to consider the physiological rest mandible position.

Physiological rest is a concept applicable to all the muscles of the body.

The stomatognathic musculature is no exception.

The patient’s masticatory muscles were deprogrammed electronically and a new physiological neuromuscular position at rest was recorded.

The patient has in this first record a pathological free space of 6,4 mm. 

The patient also presented a 0.4 mm  of mandibular retro position.

26 recalibraÇÃo da orteseRecalibration of the physiological neuromuscular position of the DIO (intraoral device)

In the first phase the intraoral devices are recalibrated and / or changed according to each specific case as the jaw, muscles and TMJ improve.

28 ortoseOcclusion of the patient with the DIO (intraoral device)

With the record obtained with the jaw tracker an intraoral device (DIO) was made to reposition the mandible three-dimensionally.

The PHYSIOLOGICAL NEUROMUSCULAR position was recorded in the form of an occlusal bite record, which was later used to make a DIO (intraoral device)

In the first phase the intraoral devices are recalibrated and / or changed according to each specific case as the jaw, muscles and TMJ improve.

29 controle da orteseAnother cinecigraphic record to control the DIO (intraoral device) in a physiological neuromuscular position as the device is changed or recalibrated.

The patient did not report any more symptomatology. The electromyography and kinesiography records objectively showed improvement of the neuromuscular function.

I asked for the second MRI (nuclear magnetic resonance) to objectively evaluate the physiological relationship between the mandibular condyles and the articular disc.

35 rnm comparativas 1RNM: Comparison of the sagittal slice of the left TMJ, closed mouth, before the physiological neuromuscular treatment, and of the same left TMJ, closed mouth, after the FIRST PHASE of the treatment.

Recovery of the physiological relation of the head of the mandible with the articular disc.

35b rnm comparativas 1RNM: Comparison of the sagittal slice of the left TMJ, closed mouth, before the physiological neuromuscular treatment, and of the same left TMJ, closed mouth, after the FIRST PHASE of the treatment.

Recovery of the physiological relation of the head of the mandible with the articular disc.

36 rnm comparativas 2RNM: Comparison of the sagittal slice of the left TMJ, closed mouth, before the physiological neuromuscular treatment, and of the same left TMJ, closed mouth, after the FIRST PHASE of the treatment.

Recovery of the physiological relation of the head of the mandible with the articular disc.

38 rnm comparativas 4RNM: Comparison of the sagittal slice of the left TMJ, closed mouth, before the physiological neuromuscular treatment, and of the same left TMJ, closed mouth, after the FIRST PHASE of the treatment.

Recovery of the physiological relation of the head of the mandible with the articular disc.

39 rnm comparativas 5

RNM: Comparison of the sagittal slice of the rigt TMJ, closed mouth, before the physiological neuromuscular treatment, and of the same right TMJ, closed mouth, after the FIRST PHASE of the treatment.

Recovery of the physiological relation of the head of the mandible with the articular disc.

40 rnm comparativas 6RNM: Comparison of the sagittal slice of the rigt TMJ, closed mouth, before the physiological neuromuscular treatment, and of the same right TMJ, closed mouth, after the FIRST PHASE of the treatment.

Recovery of the physiological relation of the head of the mandible with the articular disc.

41 rnm comparativas7RNM: Comparison of the sagittal slice of the rigt TMJ, closed mouth, before the physiological neuromuscular treatment, and of the same right TMJ, closed mouth, after the FIRST PHASE of the treatment.

Recovery of the physiological relation of the head of the mandible with the articular disc.

42 rnm comparativas 8RNM: Comparison of the sagittal slice of the rigt TMJ, closed mouth, before the physiological neuromuscular treatment, and of the same right TMJ,  closed mouth, after the FIRST PHASE of the treatment.

Recovery of the physiological relation of the head of the mandible with the articular disc.

43 frontal rnm comparativas 8

RNM: Comparison of the frontal slice of the left TMJ, closed mouth, before the physiological neuromuscular treatment, and of the same left TMJ, closed mouth, after the FIRST PHASE of the treatment.

Recovery of the physiological refrontallation of the head of the mandible with the articular disc.

44 frontal rnm comparativas 8

RNM: Comparison of the frontal slice of the rigt TMJ, closed mouth, before the physiological neuromuscular treatment, and of the same right TMJ, closed mouth, after the FIRST PHASE of the treatment.

Recovery of the physiological refrontallation of the head of the mandible with the articular disc.

45 imagens

The patient did not report any more symptomatology. The comparative MRI showed the recovery of the physiological relationship of the mandible head with the articular disc.

The electromyographic and kinesiographic records objectively showed improvement of the neuromuscular function.

It was decided to start the SECOND PHASE of the treatment to remove the DIO (intraoral device), maintaining the neuromuscular physiological occlusion.

For this we use a three-dimensional orthodontic, where the teeth are erupted to the new physiological neuromuscular position.

46 depoimento 1Patient Testimony:

My first memory of locking joints was at age 15 or so.

I looked for orthodontic specialists; I made the necessary “adjustments”, but the locking and the pain still continued.

I looked for Dr. Lidia now at the age of 30, since other experts told me that only surgery would be possible in my case. And yet, without knowing exactly whether we would succeed.

After starting the first phase of treatment with the device, the pain ceased and never again I had the jaw locking that so frighten me.

47 depoimento 2

I adapted very easily to the treatment, I was and I am being much disciplined with the use of the device.

Now, as Dr. Lidia explained to me, with the discs already in the right place, we will pass for the second phase, for withdrawal of the device.

Today I’m having a routine without worry that I can “lock” at any time.

I’m very grateful to Dr. Lidia.

Patient with Ankylosing Spondylitis and non inflammatory TMJ pathology

Female patient, 40 years old comes to consultation referred by her rheumatologist WITH STRONG PAIN IN the TMJ (temporomandibular joint), TWINGES IN THE HEAD AND MOUTH OPENING LIMITATION.

The patient had a diagnosis of seronegative spondyloarthropathy until then nonspecific.Later diagnosed as Ankylosing Spondylitis

Seronegative spondyloarthropathies refers to a group of diseases that share common characteristics, including the occurrence of inflammation in the spine, peripheral joints and in various peri-articular tissues, in particular entheses.

Seronegative spondyloarthropathies laboratory outstanding feature is the absence of rheumatoid factor and auto antibodies. They have strong association with human leukocyte antigen HLA-B27.

1  The patient reports clicking on the right TMJ, difficulty to open the mouth, difficulty and paint in chewing. She also reports bruxism.2She reports feeling headache, neck pain, pain in the right eyebrow, pain behind the eyes, pain in the right shoulder. She also reports pain in both temporomandibular joints which is stronger  in the right joint.

Points where the patient reports pain

The patient marks on the record the most important points of pain.3  In the first consultation, during the anamnesis the patient reported that she had initiated a treatment for the bruxism problem, and that at one point with the device change she  began to feel a very strong pain and her mouth locked.

4The occlusal view shows the superior anterior sector wear and the anterior lower sector wear.5Patient’s panoramic radiograph.6The joints radiographic image shows the superior and posterior positioning of the articular process on the left side in the joint cavity when the jaw is in maximal intercuspal position.

In the maximum opening position, there is flattening of the posterior and anterior surface of the left mandibular condyle process and a flattening of the superior and anterior surface of the right mandibular condyle process. The right side also presents an alteration of the growth axis of the mandibular condyle.

6BPatient’s lateral and profile radiograph before treatment.7Patient’s lateral radiograph and cervical spine before treatment.7BPatient’s frontal radiograph in habitual occlusion before treatment.8 abre e fecha inicOpening and closing computerized kinesiographic record, the patient can open only 32 mm feeling strong pain, which shows an important limitation.

The patient also has a deflection of 2.7 mm to the right.8 B COMP abre e fecha inic Note in the skull graph, the left condyle moves more than the right condyle where the deviation is.

9The surface electromyography exam evaluates the superior anterior temporal right and left, the right and left masseter, the right and left digastrics and the right and left upper trapezius.

In this electromyography record the patient could not generate a good activity when we asked to bite hard (keeping the teeth in maximum intercuspation) and clench.

At the beginning of the record when we asked the patient to open the mouth it is important to note the different activity between right and left digastrics.

The left digastric activates double than the right digastric.

9

Image enlargement showing the difference in translation of the mandibular condyles. Patient in maximum mouth opening.

It is important to be able to understand and connect all the information, the surface electromyography and the computerized kinesiograph. These data still does NOT PROVIDE A DIAGNOSIS, However they are tools to help us in the diagnosis.

I asked the patient for an MRI-(magnetic resonance imaging) of the temporomandibular joints.

When the patient filled out the clinical record for the MRI she reported that she did a tattoo a month before, that prevented the realization of the MRI until completing the time of three months after the realization of the tattoo.

Remember that the resonator is a large magnet and tattoos have pigments which may contain metal and could heat up and cause burns.

We kept the patient with a temporary splint until we had the MRI information, as explained in previous posts; WE MUST NOT TREAT A PATIENT WITHOUT  A DEFINED DIAGNOSIS.

We could easily assume that as the patient had a systemic nonspecific inflammatory arthritis attacking various joints of her body also the TMJ could be involved.

It is fundamental to rethink something which SOMETIMES could be ONLY A CONJECTURE, even if the patient is a carrier of an inflammatory autoimmune disease.

In the systemic part it is the rheumatologist who will decide the therapy.

Our part is to promote a non-compressive position of the TMJ where the masticatory muscles may perform without loading the joint, and where the patient can fulfill all the functions of the stomatognathic system.

9APatient’s inflamed elbow after synovectomy with the disease still not controlled

9A  MRI: sagittal sections selected. Left TMJ closed mouth: articular disc anteriorly displaced. Change in the growth axis of the mandibular condyle.

Left TMJ open mouth: limitation in mouth opening.

The images here are in T1, all images analyzed including T2 and STIR DOES NOT SHOW inflammatory signs.

It is relevant to remember that in the first consultation, during the anamnesis the patient reported that she had initiated a treatment for the bruxism problem, and that at one point with the device change she began to feel a very strong pain and the mouth locked.

The patient remembers that the device change aimed to align the median line of the upper incisors to the median line of the lower incisors.

This has to be a warning to all of us in dentistry which were taught to carry out all our treatments without knowing the condition of the TMJ.  

9B  MRI: sagittal sections selected. Right TMJ closed mouth: articular disc anteriorly displaced. Change in the growth axis of the mandibular condyle.

Right TMJ open mouth: limitation in mouth opening.

After conducting the analysis of the MRI images, studying all the slices and all required parameters (not included in the post), we can proceed to carry out a neurophysiologic record.
10The masticatory muscles of the patient were electronically deprogrammed and the rest position was recorded with a computerized kinesiograph.

This record has been difficult to achieve. The patient was limited and in great pain. A very low DIO was made, leaving an interocclusal free space of one mm which would normally be too little.

11DIO (intraoral device constructed in neurophysiologic position)11A  Patient’s frontal image on the same day, before and after installing the intraoral device in neurophysiologic position.

11B  Patient’s lateral image on the same Day, before and after installing the intraoral device in neurophysiologic position.

11cPatient’s electromyography record in neurophysiologic occlusion wearing the device (DIO), even the muscles activation is low the difference with the initial record is remarkable.11DComparative EMG records: the upper in habitual occlusion and lower in neurophysiological occlusion with the DIO (intraoral device).12 abre e fecha com DIO  Patient’s kinesiographic record with the DIO (intraoral device) constructed in neurophysiological position.Improvement in mouth opening. 13 recalibração  DIO recalibration to improve the patient’s neurophysiological position. The condition of the patient now allows best records because the significant decrease in pain.14Control of the intraoral device, habitual and neuromuscular trajectory are coincident.15 REGISTROS DE AB COMPARATIVOSPatient’s comparative kinesiographic records before and during treatment. Improvement of the patient mandibular opening.16 abre e fecha inicNote on the skull graphic, both condyles right and left move symmetrically.16 A abre e fecha inicImage enlargement showing both condyles right and left moving symmetrically. Patient in maximum mouth opening.17 comparativosPatient’s kinesiographic records comparison with the skull 3D model before and after treatment.

17B comparativosSkull models in 3 D, graphic animation from patient’s kinesiographic record before and after treatment comparison. Patient in maximum mouth opening.

17A 2008MRI: Right TMJ, closed and open mouth before and after treatment. Articular disc in habitual position,(the disc was dislocated before treatment) Resolution of the opening limitation.

17B 2008MRI: Leftt TMJ, closed and open mouth before and after treatment. Articular disc in habitual position. Resolution of the opening limitation.

18 comparativasMRI: TMJ sagittal comparative images, open and closed mouth before and after treatment.

19 bThe patient without pain, decided to continue with the DIO and not perform the phase 2 to eliminate de DIO, with a tridimensional orthodontics. She decided only to restore the teeth that were worn. Restorations made by Dr. Luis Daniel Yavich Mattos.

20

When I was 39 years old I was diagnosed by my rheumatologist with arthritis.

All major joints of my left side were suddenly and without warning, very swollen, such as knee and elbow, preventing me from performing my simplier movements such as standing and stretching my arm.

I had swelling, redness and intense pain. Then I started to feel pain in the TMJ. I ended up in the clinic of an orthodontist and facial orthopedist  who told me that I had ‘bruxism’ and that I needed to use a device to place the tongue in the right position.

I wore the appliance for a month or two, my TMJ locked, I could not open my mouth and I felt an absurd pain in my entire head, I no longer knew what hurted more, if it were the joints of the body or my head and mouth.

My rheumatologist, apprehensive that I could have arthritis also in the TMJ immediately referred me to Dr. Lidia Yavich, who received me in the office and managed to relieve my pain completely .

I HAVE TO STRESS THAT, THERE WAS NO MEDICATION THAT COULD CEASE THE PAIN that I felt in the TMJ and in the cervical spine, NOTHING!

After the imaging studies performed by indication of Dr. Lidia, we came to the conclusion that I was not suffering from arthritis in both TMJ, but from a dislocation  of my right condyle  after using for a short time a mistaken device to place my bite and tongue in the ” RIGHT POSITION”

That treatment did not considered important assumptions as the asymmetry of my condyles, or their position, or the disc status in relation to the condyles, causing much suffering.

It took me a long time to understand what was happening to me in my TMJ; I suffered from absurd pain in the head in the middle of a very difficult treatment for arthritis. I was disfigured, terrified and unsure after using the first device with the previous professional because he did not know how to end the pain and even seemed, not to know what was actually happening with me.

I had panic to imagine that I had arthritis in my TMJ, but only after the MRI and the Dr. Lidia interpretation it was possible to exclude the possibility of rheumatic disease in the TMJ in that moment, and from then on to make an efficient treatment.

In a few weeks Dr. Lidia not only took out ALL THE PAIN of the TMJ, but also led me to a treatment that repositioned my disc and  stopped the pain, even being a carrier of a severe autoimmune disease.

I have been using the DIO for seven years without any pain, I have full understanding of the meaning of bruxism in my case and correct approach to the problem, including the options that I could have for a more permanent solution instead the use of the DIO.

I am very grateful to my rheumatologist  today for indicating me a treatment that saved me, because I certainly would have gone crazy with those TMJ pains.

I am very grateful to Dr. Lidia who took me from the rock bottom in which I found myself, ignorant from all  that was happening in a joint so unknown from most of us:.the TMJ.