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Temporomandibular Joint Disorders, Facial Pain, and Dental Problems in Performing Artists


Copyright 2024, Mark Alan Wade

Primary Author: Howard, J.
Journal Title: Performing Arts Medicine
Date Published: 1998
Language: English
Category: Orofacial Disorders
Key Words: TMJ mouth performance musician facial dental
Full Citation: Howard, James A. Temporomandibular Joint Disorders, Facial Pain, and Dental Problems in Performing Artists. In Performing Arts Medicine. Edited by Robert Thayer Sataloff, Alice G. Brandfonbrener, and Richard J. Lederman, 99-135. 2nd Edition. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group, 1998.
Full Abstract: TMJ disorders elicit the following symptoms: headache, facial pain, neck pain, and otologic pain. The muscles of mastication are the primary source of facial pain. Therapy should focus on prevention, and changing the technique of the musician when appropriate. Physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medicines will treat most TMJ disorders. Changes in the dental occlusion are irreversible, expensive, and unnecessary. Splints, bite plates, and nightguards can be effective in positively affecting muscle and joint pain. These devices also reduce night teeth grinding, facial pain, and headaches. Other treatments include: intraoral appliance, stress management, pain control and behavioral modification through cognitive therapy. EMG Bio feedback training and relaxation skills have been effective during the day, but patients can continue to grind their teeth at night. Psychosocial stressors must be considered as factors in the cause of TMJ as well. At present, current knowledge of this subject is insufficient. Physicians ought to take an active role in the documentation of new cases, and the coordination of treatment with physical therapists, occupational therapists, and mental health providers. These medical professionals must understand the special problems associated with musicians by communicating with musicians and their teachers.