Mandibular dislocation is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), where the jaw shifts from its normal position. This dislocation can cause significant discomfort and affect the patient’s ability to speak, eat, and perform other oral functions. In this article, from our dental clinic in Malaga and Torremolinos, Gross Dentistas, we will explore the underlying causes of jaw dislocation and examine the associated consequences as well as the treatment options available.
Causes of mandibular dislocation
Mandibular dislocation can occur for a variety of reasons, and understanding the causes is critical for effective diagnosis and treatment. Some factors that may contribute to mandibular dislocation include:
- Trauma: Traumatic injuries to the facial region, such as hard blows or accidents, can lead to jaw dislocation by affecting the normal position of the jaw.
- Parafunctional habits: Activities such as biting hard objects, clenching excessive teeth (bruxism), or performing unusual jaw movements can increase the risk of dislocation.
- Ligamentous hyperlaxity: Some people have looser ligaments in the TMJ, which can predispose the jaw to move from its normal position more easily.
- Overopening of the mouth: Opening the mouth excessively, such as in extensive dental procedures or from habits such as excessive yawning, can contribute to jaw dislocation.
- Structural abnormalities: Anatomical malformations in the temporomandibular joint or surrounding structures may increase susceptibility to dislocation.
Consequences and treatment of mandibular dislocation
It can generate a series of consequences that affect the patient’s quality of life. These may include:
- Acute pain: The dislocation is usually accompanied by severe pain in the TMJ region and jaw.
- Limitation in mouth opening: Patients may experience difficulty opening the mouth fully due to mandibular displacement.
- Problems with speech and eating: Normal speech and feeding function can be compromised, affecting the patient’s daily life.
Management of mandibular dislocation is based on the cause and severity of symptoms. Treatment options may include:
- Manual reduction: In some cases, an oral health professional may perform a manual reduction to reposition the jaw in its correct place.
- Splints or repositioning devices: Splints or other devices may be used to stabilize the jaw and prevent future dislocations.
- Physical therapy: Exercises and physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the TMJ and improve jaw function.
- Medications: Anti-inflammatory medications or muscle relaxants may be prescribed to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
- Surgery: In severe or recurrent cases, surgery may be necessary to correct structural abnormalities or stabilize the joint.
Mandibular dislocation is a condition that requires professional attention to assess the causes and determine the most appropriate treatment approach. Patients who experience symptoms, such as pain, limitation in mouth opening, or mandibular displacement, should seek the care of a dentist. With an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan, it is possible to effectively address mandibular dislocation and improve the patient’s quality of life. If you need an examination because you suffer from these types of symptoms, make an appointment at our clinic.