The craniomandibular system consists of the teeth, masticatory muscles, jaw joints and the ajoining bones of the skull and cervical spine. The most important functions of the craniomanibular system are chewing and speaking. However, in the broadest sense, all movements of the head can also be included.
Problems in the craniomandiular system are known as Craniomandibular Dysfunction (CMD). CMD includes all painful or non-painful complaints which have a negative effect on the structural, functional, biochemical and psychological function of the muscles and/or jaw.
Symptoms of CMD are quite often seen in the dental area (see Medical Indications)
- Muscle pain whilst chewing (Myalgia, Myopathy)
- Pain in the jaw joints (Arthralgia, Arthropathy)
- Noises/cracking of the jaw joint
- Toothache, sensitive or loose teeth, tooth drift
- Headache, facial pain
- Complaints in the ear area (e.g. Tinnitus, dizziness)
- Problems with the eyes (z. B. vision disorder),
- Problems in the throat area (e. g. trouble swallowing, changes to the voice)
- Numbness in the arms and fingers
- Complaints of the cervical spine and neck, spreading down to the shoulders
In principle, the treatment of CMD should not be regarded only from a dental, but from an interdisciplinary medical perspective. Physiotherapy methods, such as cold, heat, special massage and mobilisation exercises are all viewed as having a positive effect on CMD sufferers/complaints.
We at ateré have the special knowledge of anatomy and treatment techniques required in the treatment of craniomandibular dysfunction. Treatment is often carried out in the mouth using special pain relief techniques. We also work closely with dentists and orthodontists to improve treatment success.
A removable occlusal appliance (bite splint) made of plastic can also be used to positively alter the position of the jaw joint and relieve the masticatory system. This splint is usually custom-built by a dentist or orthodontist.
The lower jaw is brought into a new position by the splint hence reducing the hyperactivity of the masticatory muscles. Pressure is also taken from the jaw joints. The success of this type of splint treatment is well-documented in various studies.
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