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.