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Arthrocentesis for Temporomandibular Disorders - Topic Overview

Arthrocentesis is done by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who uses needles to withdraw fluid from and/or inject fluid or medicine into a joint space. Arthrocentesis of the temporomandibular joint is used:

  • To treat painful and limited jaw movement (hypomobility) or disc displacement that has caused chronic, severe pain.
  • As a diagnostic tool, when there is a need to analyze joint fluid for signs of disease.

Arthrocentesis seems to work for people who have severe closed lock of the temporomandibular joint.1

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Arthrocentesis is done using local anesthetic, with or without a sedative. Injection of fluid into the joint can serve to:

  • Wash (lavage) from the joint pain-causing chemicals created by the inflammation process.
  • Reduce painful pressure or contact between the disc and bone.
  • Enlarge the joint space, making it easier to manipulate the joint gently.

At the end of the procedure, corticosteroids or local anesthetic may be injected into the joint. This can be particularly helpful in cases of temporomandibular disorder related to rheumatoid arthritis.

After the procedure, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to control pain. And jaw exercises are started during recovery.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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    Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

    Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

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