TMD in Children - Treatment and Diagnosis

Have you ever imagine what happens to a child who has to deal with chronic pain related to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)?

Children with chronic pain and TMD

Few things make me feel more passionate about my profession than to see a person´s happiness after he/she get rid of a long last chronic pain, but when this person is a child, the whole thing becomes simply extraordinary! The brightness in their eyes is different, it warms my heart! I can perceive that little person´s imaginative mind full of potential start to focus on what really matters, not the pain anymore.

Once, at the first appointment, a child uttered a phrase that echoed in my head for a long time: “The pain comes in the cool moments and then they get worse”.

With these words, he referred to the moments of leisure that were impaired when he began to feel a quite intense headache. I kept asking myself, “If the pain discourages him to go for the activities he likes to do, what happens to the tasks that he does not like, but need to do?”

Temporomandibular joint problems in children

At an age where the child is still developing mentally and emotionally, what impact would this have on the development of skills such as determination, persistence, and self-confidence, if from an early age one becomes accustomed to giving up what one is doing simply because one’s mind is blunted with pain, therefore not focusing on what he/she really needs?

As a father of two kids, these questions often occupies my thoughts. I do not want them to have this kind of obstacles during the development of their potentialities!

The child who uttered the phrase that led me to write today about such reflections is Apollo Jones, an extraordinary 10-years-old boy who I had the satisfaction to see him get rid of the pain. Apollo always arrives in my office very discreetly and well behaved, as small gentleman who then comes to greet me with a warm hug and a big smile, clearly the result of the wonderful people who are always around him and often alternate taking him to my office: the mother, Raffaela Leite and the uncle, Cid Pinheiro. Some years ago I treated his uncle, Cid Pinheiro who had an excruciating TMJ pain, a perforation of the disc on one side and severe displacement of the other, but after the treatment, there was a total regression of the pain and it was also possible to obtain complete recovery of the articular discs. Sometime later, I treated his mother Raffinha, who participated in the event of mine called  The TMJ Marathon.

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