Insights

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and ideas in the fields of Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine, Geriatric Dentistry, Oral Pathology and Radiology, Pain Medicine, and Community Oral Health.

Can Equine-Assisted Therapy Relieve Chronic Pain?

Can Equine-Assisted Therapy Relieve Chronic Pain?

Many people love horses. They enjoy watching their grace and beauty, and many will even try riding them. For years, people have touted the benefits of horseback riding or spending time with horses for those with a myriad of conditions, including autism, Down syndrome,...

Ankylosis and Facial Asymmetry Disorders

Ankylosis and Facial Asymmetry Disorders

High Condylectomy & Temporal Fascia Graft In cases where the jaw opening ability is severely compromised due to ankylosis, it is necessary to perform surgical treatment of the TM joint. This involves a high condylectomy (removing approximately 4 mm on top of...

Walking vs. Yoga: Which Helps Chronic Low Back Pain?

Walking vs. Yoga: Which Helps Chronic Low Back Pain?

Millions of people suffer from chronic low back pain. They are often looking for alternative or natural ways to get some relief. Two options that have been touted over the years are walking and doing yoga. While there have been studies that showed they were both...

7 Imaging-Based Diagnostic Tests for TMJ Disorders

7 Imaging-Based Diagnostic Tests for TMJ Disorders

1. Jaw Bone Scan with Radionucleotide Bone scans are utilized to assess bone tissue growth. It is an older technology and less specific technology (2D) than SPECT (3D), but it still has a role in diagnosis of bone scan. After the injection of the nucleotide, a gamma...

Aerobic Fitness and Chronic Low Back Pain

Aerobic Fitness and Chronic Low Back Pain

Millions of people suffer from chronic low back pain. Many of them tend to shy away from aerobic exercises because they fear their back will hurt more or that the exercises will be too difficult. The good news is that research supports the idea that aerobic fitness...

How to Diagnose and Treat Oral Motor Disorders

How to Diagnose and Treat Oral Motor Disorders

1. Trismus Trismus occurs when there is an involuntary restriction of active opening (<38mm) due to abnormal or inappropriate closer muscle activity during opening movement.  This is called a co-contraction disorder; openers and jaw closers are contracting at the...

How to Diagnose 7 Maxillary Growth Disorders

How to Diagnose 7 Maxillary Growth Disorders

Below is an overview of seven common and uncommon maxillary growth disorders including severe skeletal malocclusion, unilateral hyperplasia, condylar hypertrophy, condylar hypoplasia, condylar neoplasia, masticatory muscle hypertrophy, and muscular neoplasia. 1....

Dentist’s Guide to Tooth Erosion, Attrition, Abrasion & Abfraction

Dentist’s Guide to Tooth Erosion, Attrition, Abrasion & Abfraction

Learn how to diagnose, monitor, and treat different types of tooth wear including erosion, attrition, abrasion, and abfraction with this infographic based on Dr. Glenn Clark's course on abnormal oral physiology and sensory disorders. Want a full copy of the...

Parents’ Adverse Childhood Experiences & Children’s Chronic Pain

Parents’ Adverse Childhood Experiences & Children’s Chronic Pain

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are common. In fact, around 61% of adults report that they had at least one ACE, while 1 in 6 adults report that they experienced at least four of them (1). There are...

4 Mandibular Mobility Disorders

4 Mandibular Mobility Disorders

1. Muscle Contracture Muscle contractures are abnormal reductions in the extensibility of the jaw muscles (usually the closers). Contractures can result from a trauma induced scar, a spontaneous slowly developing shortening of the muscles without enlargement, or a...

Commonly Used Medications For Temporomandibular Disorders

Commonly Used Medications For Temporomandibular Disorders

1. NSAIDs The orofacial pain conditions for which NSAIDs are prescribed include acute arthralgia (capsulitis), arthritis, and painful locked TMJ.  Although there are many options, and the clinician has to select which best suits each patient, three NSAIDs are commonly...

As BMI Increases, So Does Chronic Pain

As BMI Increases, So Does Chronic Pain

It’s widely known that obesity and chronic pain often go hand in hand. Many people who are obese also experience chronic pain, although we don’t always know which condition came first. What we can do is look at if the number of people who experience chronic pain has...

How to Diagnose and Remove Salivary Stones (Sialoliths)

How to Diagnose and Remove Salivary Stones (Sialoliths)

What are salivary stones? Salivary stones, also called sialoliths, are calcified organic masses that form within the salivary gland's secretory system.  Salivary stones comprise of organic and inorganic materials, including calcium carbonates and phosphates, cellular...

TMJ Injection Treatments: Lidocaine, Steroids, Hyaluronate & Botox

TMJ Injection Treatments: Lidocaine, Steroids, Hyaluronate & Botox

Lidocaine Trigger Point Injections When myofascial pain is a component of the pain problem, a trigger point injection is helpful in treatment, but only after the patient demonstrates ability and compliance with the home stretching protocol. These injections are used...

Appliance-Based and Occlusion-Based Treatments for TMJ

Appliance-Based and Occlusion-Based Treatments for TMJ

Occlusal Appliances Occlusal guards have several purposes.  The guards can protect the teeth from wear such as attrition, interrupt oral habits such as clenching, redistribute forces of sore and sensitized teeth, and establish a comfortable occlusal position in a...

TMJ Manipulation & Mobilization Treatments

TMJ Manipulation & Mobilization Treatments

Open Locking TMJ Manipulation This procedure is done to reduce open locking or open dislocation of the TMJ, and it can be done in one of two ways. One method includes grasping the jaw with both hands and placing the molars on the posterior molar teeth and the fingers...

Home-Based Physical Therapy Treatments for the TM Joint

Home-Based Physical Therapy Treatments for the TM Joint

The Myalgia or Myofascial pain protocol (MFP) is a self-directed home-based (and sometimes office-based) treatment approach, which includes several elements such as identifying and avoiding activities that are potentially harmful to the jaw system, increasing local...

Does Pain Catastrophizing Cause Heavier Drinking?

Does Pain Catastrophizing Cause Heavier Drinking?

Chronic pain and heavy drinking are often found together. Knowing that, researchers set out to learn whether on or not those who engage in pain catastrophizing end up drinking heavier, too. They published the findings of their study in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence...

Preventive and Avoidance-Based Temporomandibular Treatments

Preventive and Avoidance-Based Temporomandibular Treatments

Preventive and avoidance-based treatments to combat or resolve temporomandibular disorders are essential to relieving chronic pain. These procedures can be administered based on the circumstances or levels of pain. Self-limiting disease or non-progressive pain is an...

Diagnostic Tests for Temporomandibular Disorders

Diagnostic Tests for Temporomandibular Disorders

In this article we'll explore three primary tests to help diagnose temporomandibular disorders: Imaging tests Physical medicine tests Serologic tests   1. Imaging Tests A. Panoramic Radiographs A panoramic radiograph is utilized primarily to have a general vision...

Arthritic Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Arthritic Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Arthralgia or Capsulitis Arthralgia/Capsulitis is defined as a painful joint (even without any osseous changes) with increased tenderness to palpation pressure. The clinical history and examination evidence needed for this diagnosis includes: A unilateral or bilateral...

Internal Derangements of the Temporomandibular Joint

Internal Derangements of the Temporomandibular Joint

Internal Derangement is not a diagnosis but a category of conditions and it simply means abnormal function of the intra-articular structures. It is a non-specific term applied as a descriptive subdivision term for the group of non-arthritic TM joint disorders (e.g.,...

How to Diagnose Masticatory Muscle Disorders

How to Diagnose Masticatory Muscle Disorders

Localized Myalgia Localized myalgia is a term used to describe a dull aching continuous which the patient localizes to muscles in the masticatory system (usually the masseter and temporalis) or cervical muscles (SCM and trapezius).  If the myalgia is in masticatory...

How to Insert and Adjust Occlusal Stabilization Appliances

How to Insert and Adjust Occlusal Stabilization Appliances

There are four primary elements that form the theoretical basis for an occlusal stabilization appliance: It protects teeth from wear It stabilizes an unstable bite It makes the patient more aware of any oral habit It allows you to reduce loading on a specific...

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