More than 20% of the entire adult population of the planet, there is temporomandibular articular pathology that occurs for various reasons - due to dental errors, too heavy physical exertion during sports, due to injuries. Even improper placement of the filling can lead to asymmetry of the temporomandibular joints. As a result, the load on one of the joints of the pair increases, which leads to the displacement of the intraarticular disk and the occurrence of pain. Also common causes of such pathologies are malocclusion of teeth and bruxism or contraction of the masticatory muscles in an involuntary form.
Most often, such a pathology occurs when a rupture or sprain of the ligaments inside the joint, which changes the position of the disk. This pathology cannot be seen when using ordinary radiography, which, moreover, is not entirely desirable for the parotid salivary glands located next to the temporomandibular joints. In this case, the ultrasound study of the temporomandibular joint area helps specialists to evaluate functional and structural joint disorders, to identify pathological processes in all articular elements in an absolutely safe and inexpensive way.
Indications for ultrasound of the selected area
So that the patient can undergo the necessary examination, the medical institution must have a high-tech ultrasound apparatus, and the diagnostic physician must have experience in research on a given area of the body.
The main indications for ultrasound of the temporomandibular joint are inflammation and traumatic processes occurring in this area, possible neoplasms, impaired joint function, the prevention of complications in the treatment of dentofacial pathologies and dental prosthetics.
Complaints of patients with diseases of this area are pain in the parotid space, difficulties in chewing food, opening or closing the mouth, crunches in the joints, dizziness and pain in the head, cramps in the throat, gritting of teeth at night, the occurrence of noise effects in the ears. It happens that with such pathologies in patients asymmetric changes in facial features occur.
The direction for ultrasound diagnostics of the temporomandibular joint is given to patients:
- maxillofacial surgeons.
The conduct and results of the survey
In order to undergo this type of ultrasound examination, the patient does not need to somehow specifically prepare for him. Diagnosis does not have previously diagnosed contraindications, therefore, alternative methods for examining this part of the body are practically not used.
During ultrasound, the patient should always lie on his back. The doctor diagnosing pathological processes, in turn, asks the patient to turn his head left and right. At the same time, under the zygomatic arch, the ultrasound probe continuously conducts the sensor to track the condition, up to the ear tragus. Left and right, it is necessary to conduct a study in the horizontal plane, as well as in several projections of the frontal position - this determines the condition of the head of the temporomandibular joint in front and back. Also, in order to correctly and fully identify all violations of the required functions in each investigated plane, the patient is constantly asked to open, close or open his mouth.
Immediately after the ultrasound examination comes to an end, the diagnostician begins to decipher the results of the study. To prepare an appropriate conclusion, a specialist needs to describe the condition of the articular disk, articular capsule of the temporomandibular joint, the occurrence of various deformations, measure the width of the joint space, and also identify and describe the presence of deformations of the surfaces of the joints in the bone heads and the pathological fossils of ossification revealed in them.
The conclusions also describe the integrity of the ligaments and muscle tissue, assesses the presence of fluid in the joints, and measures the ratio of the disk, head and articular tubercle at rest or mobility. All identified hematomas or neoplasms (tumors) must be indicated.
These ultrasound results must be provided to the medical professional who wrote the patient a referral for diagnosis so that he can accurately diagnose and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
Thus, an ultrasound examination of the temporomandibular joint significantly surpasses all other diagnostic methods of this organ, since no contraindications have been identified for its implementation, it can be used repeatedly, it does not pose a threat to the effect of radiation exposure on the human body, it can give a highly informative picture the study area in dynamic or static sections, as well as absolutely painlessly tolerated by patients and is in almost every medical institution.