Non-surgical treatment of sports-related temporomandibular joint disorders in basketball players


DENTAL TRAUMATOLOGY, vol.20, no.6, pp.338-343, 2004 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/j.1600-9657.2004.00267.x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.338-343
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


In this study, 18 basketball players (11 female, seven male; age range 14-32 years) with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems who had a history of sport injuries related to head or jaw region were evaluated and the results of the treatment were presented. A standardized functional examination of the masticatory system was performed including measurement of maximal jaw movements, recording of joint sounds, pain on movement of the jaw as well as tenderness to palpation of the both TMJ or masticatory muscles. Patients were also evaluated periodontally. Diagnosis was made according the criteria, described by Okeson, and appropriate treatment was applied using different kind of splints. At the end of treatment only one patient continued with right TMJ reduction with slight pain. Except for that patient, none of the patients had pain after treatment. The maximum opening of the jaws and the maximal jaw movements were statistically increased after treatment. Patients with TMJ problems also showed periodontal problems, most likely due to inadequate oral hygiene because of the limited jaw movements and pain. Periodontal parameters including probing depth (PD), Plaque index (PI), and Sulcus Bleeding Index (SBI) improved after treatment. Sports-related TMJ injuries may result in complex problems such as pain, TMJ sounds, limitation in maximal jaw movements and maximum opening of the mouth, difficulty in chewing. With the appropriate diagnosis this could be treated nonsurgically in 6-8 months. This study also showed that the TMJ disorders may cause periodontal problems, which may affect all teeth and also the general health of the athlete.