Jaw Joint Effusion - A Common Symptom

Watch Dental Video about Jaw Joint Effusion

Jaw joint effusion describes the collection of fluid in the jaw joint.

Having a joint effusion means that the joint interior accumulates joint fluid and/or blood. A joint effusion can be caused by anything from rheumatic conditions to mechanical injuries or bad posture. Accordingly, treatments vary. The most common cause of jaw joint effusion is over-straining of the joint from activities such as extended and intensive opening of the mouth during dental checkups. A day after visiting your dentist, you might feel like your teeth don’t fit on one another properly and/or you experience pain when opening your mouth.

In general, cooling ice wraps and resting the joint for a few days helps. This means no chewing gum, no chew-intensive food and gentle mouth opening exercises.

Furthermore, jaw joint effusions frequently occur on diseased, abnormal joints, possibly resulting from jaw joint arthritis due to a lack of side teeth support. If the molars are missing on the sides, chewing energy is not transmitted to the teeth or the jaw bone. Instead chewing muscles press the lower jaw joint head into the joint socket which leads to a heavily stressed jaw joint.

anatomical painted cutting graphics of an jaw with effusion

jaw joint effusion

Every person reacts differently to over-stressing.  Over the years, many will experience joint deformation as well as joint degeneration. X-rays will reveal shrinkage of the jaw joint gap, sanding facets of the joint area and other modification phenomena.

Initially, most patients feel very little effects from chronic joint arthritis – only acute processes. For example, an acute effusion after a doctor’s appointment is perceived as a pain period and is called an “activated arthritis.”  To avoid letting things get this far, early treatment for gaps and tilted teeth in the side teeth areas is important. Early treatment can help transmit chewing energy to the side teeth rather than to the jaw joints.

Click here to see the video: Effusion in the Jaw

 

This post is also available in: German

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