How Healthcare Professionals' Actions Can Impact the Chronicity of Temporomandibular Disorders?

Have you ever wondered why some people suffer from Temporomandibular Disorders (TMDs) for an extended period?

Oscar Anacleto

9/1/20232 min read

Have you ever wondered why some people suffer from Temporomandibular Disorders (TMDs) for a long period? The answer may be related to the actions of healthcare professionals. In this article, we will explore various factors that can contribute to the chronicity of TMDs and how inadequate care can play a significant role in this process.

Lack of Adequate Assessment: The Crucial First Step One of the primary starting points for TMD treatment is a comprehensive patient evaluation. Unfortunately, the lack of diagnosis or incorrect diagnosis is a common mistake that can lead to chronicity. It is essential for healthcare professionals to conduct a thorough assessment, considering all symptoms and factors involved.

Occlusal Changes and Their Impacts Another potentially harmful error is making occlusal changes without a solid diagnostic foundation. Changes in occlusion, such as improper dental adjustments, can worsen the patient's condition, leading to the chronicity of TMDs.

Improper Use of Appliances and Splints Improper use of appliances and splints can also worsen TMDs. Healthcare professionals must ensure that these devices are prescribed only when necessary and properly adjusted to meet each patient's individual needs.

Joint Repositioning Strategies: Approach with Care Joint repositioning strategies can be beneficial for rare cases of TMD patients, but only when there is a correct diagnosis and qualified professionals apply the techniques. Improper use of these techniques can cause more harm than benefit, contributing to chronicity.

Complications of Intracapsular Treatments In some cases, intracapsular treatments may be necessary. However, complications in these procedures can arise if not performed by experienced professionals. These complications can prolong the patient's suffering.

Imaging Exams: When Are They Truly Necessary? Last but not least, requests for imaging exams should be based on accurate indications. Unnecessary exams can increase costs and patient anxiety without contributing to effective treatment.

In summary, the chronicity of TMDs can be avoided or minimized with the responsible and careful actions of healthcare professionals. It is crucial for these specialists to make accurate diagnoses, prescribe appropriate treatments, and adopt cautious approaches to ensure the well-being of patients suffering from TMDs.

Reference: Greene CS, Manfredini D. Transitioning to chronic temporomandibular disorder pain: A combination of patient vulnerabilities and iatrogenesis. J Oral Rehabil. 2021 Sep;48(9):1077-1088. doi: 10.1111/joor.13180.