Temporomandibular Dysfunctions in Children: New Guidelines and Promising Advances

Oscar Anacleto

8/23/20231 min read

Children can also be affected by Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) and Orofacial Pain, conditions that usually manifest in a mild and intermittent manner. Although these symptoms are typically transient at this age, they have the potential to significantly impact the quality of life for the young ones.

The most common signs to watch out for include:

  • Clicking or popping in the temporomandibular joints (TMJ).

  • Difficulty in opening or closing the mouth.

  • Headaches.

  • Cheek discomfort.

  • Painful sensations around the ear area.

  • Fatigue while chewing food.

The cornerstone of effective treatment is obtaining an accurate diagnosis. While the Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders (DC/TMD) is a widely recognized reference for adults, it's important to highlight that adapting this criteria for children aged 6 to 9 is under discussion. Various international experts have proposed modifications that can be applied in both clinical contexts and research settings.

The academic community celebrates the recent publication of an article presenting these adaptations suggested by renowned researchers. These guidelines have the potential to revolutionize how we approach TMD in children.

It's important to note that the validity and reliability of these adaptations will undergo rigorous testing through new studies. The anticipation and excitement surrounding these future developments are palpable.

We eagerly await these next steps and the advancements they may bring!

International Network for Orofacial Pain and Related Disorders (INfORM). Diagnostic criteria for temporomandibular disorders-INfORM recommendations: Comprehensive and short-form adaptations for children. J Oral Rehabil. 2023 Feb;50(2):99-112.