Some conditions commonly treated by oral and maxillofacial surgeons are:
- Facial and jaw deformity
- Facial bone fractures
- Surgical removal of impacted teeth, including wisdom teeth, dental extraction and dento-alveolar surgery
- Dental implant surgery
- Temporo-mandibular joint disease including TMJ ankylosis, dislocation and internal derangement
- Diagnosis and treatment of oral cancers and pre-cancer
- Jaw tumors and pathologies in the maxillofacial region
- Congenital deformities of the face like cleft lip and palate
- Diagnosis and treatment of infections of the oral and maxillofacial region.
ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY: (Jaw deformity correction)
People who can benefit from orthognathic surgery include those with an improper bite and compromised esthetics due to improperly positioned jaws. At times the under/overgrowth of one or both jaws may also lead to problems in the bite as well as the overall facial esthetics.
TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT (TMJ ) DISORDERS :
This refers to a family of problems related to the complex temporomandibular joint (jaw joint) and the related muscles. In most cases, more than one causative factor can be responsible.
Some contributing factors are clenching of teeth, grinding of teeth, damaged jaw joint due to infection, trauma and improperly aligned teeth.
Common TM Joint afflictions include:
- TM joint Ankylosis (Lock jaw/ stiff jaw)
- Internal derangement
- TMJ subluxation and dislocation
- Under/ Overgrowth of joint components.
- TM Joint pathologies
Treatment may involve several approaches ranging from conservative modes such as physiotherapy to surgery for joint replacement. In general TM joint therapy may take time to be effective and requires consistent effort and commitment on behalf of the patient as well.
Signs of TM Joint disorder:
- Habitual clenching, grinding of teeth
- Awakening with soreness/ stiffness in jaw, neck muscles
- Clicking, grating, locking of law on opening or closing
- Improper bite from crooked teeth (malocclusion)
- Difficulty/ Inability to open the jaw from a history of trauma
- History of problems of other joints in the body(Arthritis)
Some TMJ conditions can lead to serious problems, early detection and treatment are important.
CYSTS AND TUMOURS OF THE JAWS
Any alteration in the appearance of the oral tissue can be an indicator of a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer.
The following can be signs of the beginning of a pathologic process or cancerous growth:
- Reddish patches (erythroplakia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia)
- A sore or ulcer that fails to heal and/or bleeds easily
- A lump or thickening on the mucosa of the mouth
- Dark pigmented spots
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing.
Diseases of the facial bones, muscles and salivary glands are also managed by the maxillofacial surgeons.
CLEFT LIP AND PALATE
Clefts of the lip and palate are openings in the lip / palate present from birth that result from incomplete closure during the fetal period. They are among the most common of birth defects and are associated with many inherited genetic conditions and syndromes.
Cleft lip and palate can be surgically corrected. In most babies, a series of timely surgeries can restore normal function and appearance with minimal scarring.
Usually at birth itself, a cleft is easily identified as a split in the palate (roof of the mouth) or in the lip extending into the nostril.
Problems may be encountered in:
- Nasal speech
- Recurring nasal infections
- Flattened appearance of the mid-face (upper jaw) and nose (identifiable in childhood and adolescence)
- Subsequent problems with teeth alignment.
Comprehensive care for a cleft lip/ palate child must begin in infancy itself. This is the right time to see your Oral surgeon about Cleft lip/ palate treatment.