Arthrogeneous origin of TMJ pain, Asymmetry, Asymmetry Index, Bruxism, condylar asymmetry recognition, Dentistry, Occlusal device, Retruded Position of the Mandible, Temporomandibular joint diagnostics, Temporomandibular joint disorder, Temporomandibular joint pain, TMJ rehabilitation, Treatment planning
Reflecting back on the interesting information given by eighteen well known international speakers at the Quintessence International Symposium on TMD & FACIAL PAIN and HEADACHE, Bridging the Gap Between Current Research and Clinical Practice in Scottsdale Arizona ( February 6-7,2015, Co-Chaired by Drs Daniel M.Laskin and Charles S.Greene ) I once again would like to stress the importance to recognize a temporomandibular joint condylar asymmetry when present. Several speakers stressed the overloaded temporomandibular joint as the cause of TMD and advised to pay less attention to the masticatory muscles initially at the examination of TMD pain. Lack of synovial liquid and mini ruptures or even nano ruptures of the joint tissues are to be looked upon as causes for cartilage degeneration with osteoarthritis / osteoarthrosis as the end result.
It is my opinion that in combination with bruxism a temporomandibular joint condylar asymmetry needs to be acknowledged and addressed. The shorter condyle side joint is in its morphology unstable and easily develops internal derangement of its articulating parts. The well known phenomenon of disk displacement is thereby a fact and the first step in joint break down with the diagnosis Arthritis microtraumatica art.temp.mand. In this perspective occlusion becomes extremely important . The shorter condyle side joint needs to be supported with the correct vertical dimension of occlusion. What is missing in vertical dimension inside that joint needs to be compensated for at the level of the teeth of the ipsilateral side. In my mind this is the only possibility to create a stable occlusion with the maintenance of improved joint function after the initially reversible approach with an orthotic device.
Finally a statement/question that might need some thoughts: How much longer are we as a profession going to talk about occlusion without considering the vertical dimension of the two temporomandibular joints!?