Craniomandibular dysfunction (CMD) is a group of diseases that affect the jaw joints, the chewing muscles and the associated structures in the head and face. This dysfunction can cause various problems that affect both jaw function and the overall quality of life of those involved.
Causes and risk factors:
TMD can be caused by several factors, including stress, poor posture, misaligned teeth, bruxism (teeth grinding), and trauma. Conditions such as arthritis that affect the temporomandibular joint can also lead to TMD.
The symptoms of TMD are varied and can include jaw joint pain, headaches, ringing in the ears (such as tinnitus), dizziness, neck and shoulder problems, and difficulty chewing and speaking. Although the extent of the symptoms and the intensity of the pain vary, patients often report a clicking or rubbing sensation in the jaw joint, restricted mouth opening and headaches.
The diagnosis of CMD requires a comprehensive examination, which, in addition to the clinical assessment of the jaw, can also include imaging tests such as X-rays, CT or MRI. It is essential to take a holistic view, as CMD symptoms can often be confused with other diseases.
Treatment of TMD is individual and depends on the patient’s specific cause and symptoms. Conservative therapies such as physiotherapy, exercise exercises, splint treatments or medication are often used. Targeted intramuscular infiltrations to reduce muscle tone may be helpful. In some cases, surgical intervention may also be necessary, especially if there are structural abnormalities of the temporomandibular joint and corresponding complaints.
Prevention and management:
It is vital to detect and treat CMD early to avoid long-term damage. Patients should be instructed on managing their symptoms in everyday life, for example, by reducing stress, correcting posture, exercising, and avoiding habits that strain the jaw.
CMD is a complex disease that often requires a multidisciplinary treatment approach. Close collaboration between oral surgeons, physiotherapists, and, if necessary, other specialists is crucial for successful treatment and improvement of the patient’s quality of life.