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A study of the self-reported masticatory and temporomandibular joint problems resulting from malocclusion in 12-15-year-old children

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Normal alignment of teeth not only contributes to the oral health, but also goes a long way in the overall well being of the individual. Correct tooth position not only contributes to the esthetic well being, but also functional and overall preservation and restoration of dental health (5). Riolo ML et al (i2) established that a statistical association exists between certain features of occlusion and TMJ signs and symptoms.

The research question was: What occlusal traits playa role in causation ofTMJ and masticatory tenderness and dysfunction?

JUSTIFICATION

There is insufficiency in data as concerns occlusal characteristics and their role in signs and symptoms of mandibular dysfunction in Kenya. Orthodontics does not just deal with correction of irregularities in teeth, but encompasses the patient as a whole. Other

functions of the body are affected by derangements in occlusion, for example, a patient with difficulty in chewing may experience improper deglutition, a patient with abnormal habits such as thumb sucking, shifts the position of the teeth with resultant additional stress to the orofacial musculature, skeleton and TMJ.

This study endeavors to determine the association between the traits of malocclusion and orofacial system dysfunction. The findings will therefore provide a guide to orthodontists in Kenya as to particular occlusal traits that bring about signs and symptoms ofTMJ and masticatory dysfunction.

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