Female patient 31 years old comes to consultation reporting severe headache, severe pain in the temporal, especially on the left side, pain on the left ear and pressure on the left eye.
She also states strong neck pain, dizziness, and reports that she feels a burning sensation on the cheek and also pain.
She also reports allergic rhinitis and sinusitis, for which she had already made several treatments. But the rhinitis or the sinusitis where never acompannied by the pain she was reporting. This was something new.
She reports having bruxism.
The patient states that she used removable and also fixed orthodontics appliances from her 15 years old until her 18 years old.
She refers to a traumatism in the anterior sector in which the incisor fractured the incisal edge when she was a child.(see publication Structural Modifications of the Mandibular Condylar Process as one of the sequels of traumatism in infancy)
We can see the wear on the upper and lower incisors.
Regarding the beginning of the pain, the patient reported that she frequently felt fatigue in her facial muscles; she was a teacher and talked a lot during the classes.
But then she felt just fatigue, she never had the pain she was feeling now.
The episode that the patient reported as triggering the pain was when she broke a tooth when she was chewing.
When I broke my tooth while chewing, I went to an emergency clinic where they made a curative and headed me for a root canal.
When the root canal was finished, I left the dental office with A LOT OF PAIN.
But it was not toothache; it was a lot of pain in the face, especially in the masseter muscle.
Days after I started to feel an hallucinating pain in the neck, pain in the left ear and headache;
At the time I was derived to a professional who did occlusal adjustments and installed a splint.
I threw away the splint, since I complained that the device did not ease the pain but increased the pain I was feeling.
From that moment I started to consult a lot of professionals.
When she ended the latter sentence, the patient looked into my eyes and while crying she asked: Dr, do you believe in the things I´m telling you?
I said YES, and I answered, I BELIEVE IN YOUR REPORT.
The patient increased her crying and told me that many of the professionals she visited said that she had nothing and the pain was a thing of her head. Just stress!
The panoramic radiograph of the patient shows the root canals endodontically treated (maxillary first molar on the left, 26). This is the tooth that the patient reported having fractured and treated)
We can see that the third molar on the left (48) is angled and impacted on the distal of the second lower molar on the right.
In the temporomandibular joint laminography of the patient, we can see an anterior angulation of the articular processes. We can also observe a flattening of the upper and posterior surface of both articular processes; it is more significant on the right side.
Patient’s lateral radiograph before treatmentAt a certain moment a scanning of the lower limbs was asked to the patient, as a difference in length of the lower limbs was suspected. It revealed to be just a muscle shortening, since structurally her lower limbs presented the same measure.
Computerized kinesiology analyzes the graphic movements that the jaw performs in the three directions of space. The patient has an opening of 30 mm which is already considered a limitation.
The patient does not have good speed in opening and closing the mouth. This can be an indicator of muscle disorders, intra-articular injuries or discrepancies between the teeth and the muscles.
In this basal electromyography the masticatory muscles are in hyperactivity, after electronic deprogramming the muscles down their values.
An electromyography with a lower value, after the electronic relaxation, for a particular muscle, is more important than the absolute value before being pulsed.
In this dynamic electromyography, the patient clench hard twice, opens her mouth, closes her mouth and swallows. Masseter muscles, which are the most potent muscles of the stomatognathic system generate very little activity in maximum occlusion.
The anterior temporalis are recruiting more motor units than the masseters, which is not physiological in a system that works in a balanced manner.
In this dynamic electromyography (A) the patient bites into habitual maximum intercuspation, (B) the patient bites with cotton rolls on the right and the left between her occlusal surfaces, the activity improves considerably.
Every modification of the joint position leads to muscle length change, and consequently it change its strength.The muscles that are shortened or lengthened by approximately 20% exhibit the so-called mechanical failure and a decreased intrinsic potency (Macintosh, Valencia et al., 1986).
MRI of the patient: we can see an anterior angulation of the articular processes, flattening of the upper and posterior surface of both articular processes, information that we already have in the laminography.
The joint articular discs are very thinned which structurally implies an articular disc that can not always fulfill the function for which an articular disk is designed. It is imperative to promote joint decompression.
Remember the electromyography improvement that we had with the placement of cotton rolls between the occlusal surfaces.
The masticatory muscles of the patient were deprogrammed electronically and the rest position was registered with a computerized jaw tracker.
This record was very difficult to achieve. It was very difficult to deprogram the patient. Even so a very thin DIO (intraoral device) was constructed in neurophysiological position to promote the jaw reposition that was in a slight posterior position.
We left an inter-occlusal free space of 1 mm which normally is very little (remember that the jaw tracker enables this type of measurement)
In the screen we may read a comment that says (this is the record that I managed to take). I wanted to register this in the original record, as many times we don´t get a good record in the first time and this was the case. Logically records will modify as the system improves.In this other record where we are recalibrating the patient’s device , we can see the coincidence of the habitual trajectory with the neuromuscular trajectory. The patient is now deprogramming better so we could build a better intra-oral device.
In this kinesiographic record with the DIO (intraoral device) in neurophysiological position, we can see the improvement of the trajectory in mandibular opening, closing and speed. Remember that the patient did not have a good speed in mandibular opening and closing, and she had a more vertical opening trajectory.
Kinesiographic comparative records of opening, closing and speed: in habitual position before treatment and with the DIO (intraoral device).
Comparative rest position records: before treatment and recalibrating the DIO (intraoral device). In the recalibration record we can observe the coincidence of the habitual trajectory with the neuromuscular trajectory.
The first phase was carried out ( treatment of the TMJ) with the controls and recalibrations required to enhance the mandibular position, in this case together with physical therapy to balance the postural chains.
At the request of the panoramic radiograph before moving on to the second phase of this case (three-dimensional orthodontics) it can be observed the third right lower molar eruption. This molar was impacted in the distal of the second right lower molar. (31-year-old patient).
At this step it was only released the acrylic of the DIO in the region of the third impacted molar, returning the vertical dimension of the patient and allowing the eruption of the third molar.
Comparison of pre-treatment panoramic radiograph and after the first phase with the DIO (intraoral device) installed in neurophysiological position.
At this point a three-dimensional orthodontics is initiated to remove the DIO.
This orthodontic treatment as was explained in previous publications (see the publication Tridimensional Orthodontics in the Second Phase of TMJ pathologies) must maintain the mandibular location in balance with the muscular planes, with the temporomandibular joints and the dental plans, obtained in the first phase.
For this we have tools such as surface electromyography and electronic jaw deprogramming, that helps us to control how the system is functioning.
Few sequences will be shown until the full withdrawal of the DIO (intraoral device)
Active eruption of lateral segments, already in a more advanced stage. The teeth are filling the space formerly occupied by the DIO.
Patient´s panoramic x-ray: control of the active eruption. It corresponds to the sequence shown in the previous image.
Three-dimensional orthodontics treatment continuation: Image with and without the device, the lateral sectors have already erupted.Three-dimensional orthodontics treatment continuation.
The alignment of the upper and lower incisors sector was achieved just as the restoration with resin of the fractured part of the incisor.
Conclusion of the three-dimensional orthodontics after TMJ treatment.Conclusion of the three-dimensional orthodontics after TMJ treatment.Patient’s dynamic electromyographic record after treatment.Patient’s SEMG records: before and after treatment. We can analyze the balance and functioning of the masseter, which did not happen in the initial registration.Kineciographic record: opening, closing and speed after treatment conclusion.Kinesiographic comparative records of opening, closing and speed: in habitual position before treatment, with the DIO (intraoral device) and after treatment conclusion.Patient’s laminography in neurophysiological occlusion after treatment conclusion.
Patient’s comparative laminographies: in habitual occlusion before treatment and neurophysiological occlusion after treatment conclusion.
It should be understood that the chosen mandibular position is the one where the joints are decompressed and muscles are able to recruit more motor units, for that we use electronic mandibular deprogramming. Registration also depends on the information obtained in the images.MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) comparative images of the patient: in habitual occlusion before treatment and in neurophysiological occlusion in the conclusion of treatment.
It should be understood that the chosen mandibular position is the one where the joints are decompressed and muscles are able to recruit more motor units, for that we use electronic mandibular deprogramming.
Registration ALSO DEPENDS on the information obtained in the images. MRI also provides information that should be taken into account when we decide the mandibular position, enhancing the data provided by the computerized jaw tracker: which and the type of disc, disk positioning, whether or not recapture among other data.
Patient’s panoramic radiography after conclusion of the second phase, in this case the three-dimensional orthodontics.
Patient’s comparative panoramic radiographs: 1 before treatment, 2 during the first phase, 3 during the three-dimensional orthodontics, 4 after conclusion of the three-dimensional orthodontics.
Patient’s comparative frontal image before and after treatment.Patient’s comparative profile image before and after treatment.Patient testimony
I clearly remember when everything began.
First I used to feel a huge fatigue in the muscles of the face and mouth. I was very stressed then, I was teaching and I used to speak a lot.
Then I broke a tooth. And (ouch!) what to do? I looked for an emergency doctor and he made me a curative. He advised me to go to a dentist and I had to make a root canal there. I left the clinic in pain.(an incredible, allucinating headache,and ear pain)
I began to loos weight… I felt a malaise, a lack ou courage. My face muscle, the masseter seemed to be making weightlifting. Felt as strong and stout, but it hurt so much! It looked as if I had 200 Kg on my face and my neck seemed not to be part of my body. What an unbearable pain! I felt a general rejection, a lack of will of living.) My whole body started to ache. Even fibromyalgia some would say I had, others said I had one leg which was smaller that the other other would say… To sum up, I was a time bomb of all the problems professionals said I had… (I felt like that…)
From there I visited a lot of professionals.
Michigan splint, intensive physiotherapy, chiropractic terapy , shiatsu, do-in… So desperate I was! I even searched for an afro-brazilian religious priest (mãe de santo)….. But nothing relief me from my pain.
I was then that I went to see a very SPECIAL person in my CRAZY life! Dr. Lidia!!
It got better… but NOOOO the strife started to increase!!! Exams, resonances, what an affliction!
From that day five years had passed until my life got back in track… Back to normal with or without pain. But actually it came back on track WITHOUT ANY PAIN!!!
But for that a lot of water had flowed under the bridge!
The result was that after many appointments at the clinic, I remember the attendance on a Sunday of World Cup when Brazil was Champion and that compassionate soul (hahaha) helped me.
So much pain! So much despair! Even so that doctor had so much will and patience to cure me!
It was a hard path. But… We made it and we found that one of my wisdom teeth were totally ignorant (they had no wisdom at all) and it decided to sprout after my thirties.
I used to say that my teeth were like two soccer fan crowds that did not fit, as Palmeiras e Corintians (something like Chelsea and Manchester). They were in ethernal fight!
But after the storm…. My problems started to be solved.
Today I have a big smile thanks to Dr. t Lidia, hahaha. I pray everyday to her.