Acquired Temporomandibular Disorders in Infants, Children, and Adolescents
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This best practice assists dental practitioners in recognizing and diagnosing temporomandibular disorders and identifying evidence-based treatment options. Temporomandibular disorders are a group of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions that include clinical signs and symptoms involving the muscles of mastication, the temporomandibular joint, and associated structures and occasionally occur in infants, children, and adolescents.
Temporomandibular disorders generally are classified into two broad categories: temporomandibular joint disorders and masticatory muscle disorders. Diagnosing temporomandibular disorders should be based on a screening history, clinical examination, and/or craniocervical and temporomandibular joint imaging.
Temporomandibular disorder treatment goals include restoring function, reducing pain, reducing risk factors, and improving quality of life. The two main treatment approaches are reversible and irreversible therapies. Common reversible approaches include patient instruction, physical therapy, behavioral therapy, prescription medication, and occlusal splints. Meanwhile, with limited evidence for effectiveness of irreversible therapies (e.g., occlusal adjustments, orthodontic treatment, surgery), such approaches should be avoided in children.
This document was developed through a collaborative effort of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Councils on Clinical Affairs and Scientific Affairs to offer updated information and guidance on acquired temporomandibular disorders in infants, children, and adolescents.
KEYWORDS: TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT, TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT DISORDERS, EVIDENCE-BASED DENTISTRY, PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY