Cranio-Mandibular Disorder (CMD) is a movement disorder of the masticatory or chewing system characterized, among other symptoms, by teeth grinding and clenching during sleep as well as wakefulness.

Cranio-Mandibular Disorder is dependent or controlled by several factors. There is no simple cause-effect relationship between a single factor and the disorder. During one’s life, many factors can impact on the masticatory (chewing) system, and when our system can no longer tolerate the noxious stimuli that come from bruxism, grinding, or gritting one’s teeth, symptoms may appear. The various studies of causes are classified as predisposing, initiating and on-going. Structural, metabolic, dis-ease, genetic, and psychological factors may make an individual more prone to develop a clinical condition, but mechanical overload, related to macro- or micro-trauma, is generally the last straw. Continuing or perpetuating factors may be any predisposing or initiating factors that support the disorder and complicate the management.

Cranio-Mandibular Disorders are similar to other musculoskeletal disorders: they are benign and self-limiting (a medical term that may be applied to many common conditions or diseases that are regularly seen at doctor’s offices), and generally do not produce irreversible tissue changes. When the condition prevails, a percentage of people will actually need some form of therapy. In the presence of pain or dysfunction, it is important to consult a doctor or dentist in order to rule out more uncommon but serious conditions. The diagnosis of Cranio-Mandibular Disorders is based mainly on information derived from the patient’s history, clinical examination, and TM (Temporomandibular) joint imaging.

The structures that make it possible to open and close your mouth include the bones, joints, and muscles. These are very specialized and must work together whenever you chew, speak, or swallow. Your teeth are inserted in your jaw bone. At the other end of your jaw bone are the Temporomandibular joints. These joints attach your jaw to your skull. Muscles attach both the bones and joints and allow them to move. Any problem which prevents the complex system of muscles, bones, and joints from working together in harmony may result in Craniomandibular Dysfunction.

According to the most recent international guidelines, treatment of CMD is initially based on conservative, reversible and evidence-based therapeutic modalities. These are effective for the majority of patients, and rarely are invasive and irreversible therapies needed. Common accepted therapeutic modalities include a self-care program, in which patients learn how to manage their symptoms and reduce contributing factors.

We hope soon to present an article or discussion regarding the Hyoid bone or the Hyoid Mandible and its relationship to the difficulty with swallowing, a symptom that has been majorly attached to Parkinson’s.

For more information on CMD/TMJ visit the website. Also visit the professionals in the WELLNESS VILLAGE educated and trained to treat CMD. There may be only 500 of them throughout the United States. A General Dentist is generally NOT educated and trained to treat CMD.

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Updated: August 16, 2017