Jaw dysfunction in Temporomandibular joint disorders
Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) are multifactorial musculoskeletal conditions affecting the muscles of mastication, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and associated structures. Previous evidence has shown an association between TMD and other structures of the head and neck including the cervical spine and headaches.
The current study established that heightened levels of myofascial tenderness in the upper trapezius and temporalis muscles showed a positive correlation between high levels of jaw and neck dysfunction.
Although previous literature has evaluated myofascial tenderness, none have quantified and associated the level of tenderness with jaw dysfunction. Considering these things the authors of the current study sought to determine the correlation, if any, between neck disability, jaw dysfunction and muscle tenderness in patients with and without chronic TMD.
Twenty healthy females and twenty females diagnosed with chronic TMD (at least 3 months duration) participated in this study. Each participant completed a neck disability index (NDI) and limitations of daily function in TMD questionnaire. An algometer was used to quantify tenderness in muscles of mastication and cervical muscles
Disability is a complex situation that includes factors beyond individual signs and symptoms. For this reason, considering the inherent impact that a multifaceted condition such as TMD can have on a patient, disability as an outcome measure was included in this study. The authors showed a significantly high correlation between jaw disability and neck disability as well as a fair to moderate correlation between tenderness and jaw and neck disability.
The fact that neck and jaw disability are strongly related stresses the importance of assessing and treating these two separate body segments concurrently. In addition, if patients with TMD are suffering from both neck and jaw issues this highlights the importance of physical therapists and dentists potentially collaborating amongst each other to enhance service delivery
> From: Silveria et al., Biomed Res Int 2015 (2016) 512792(Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the Pubmed summary.