To date, there are no standardized treatment guidelines for osteoarthritis of the jaw, a potentially debilitating outcome of juvenile arthritis.
Doctors around the world lack knowledge of how best to treat jaw arthritis, which is a frequent and serious consequence of juvenile arthritis.
Now, a team of researchers from Aarhus University, in collaboration with experts from a wide range of international professional groups, has developed a set of multidisciplinary guidelines to improve the treatment of patients with this disease.
The guidelines focus specifically on early diagnosis and screening, and can benefit children all over the world, according to Peter Stostrop, associate professor in the Department of Dentistry and Oral Health at Aarhus University.
“Starting treatment at the right time will lead to better treatment outcomes. Jaw arthritis if not treated can cause significant problems in adulthood, but treatment of the condition has been significantly delayed by uncertainty among health professionals and health systems, so this study It is important for all children with osteoarthritis of the jaw.”
Complex joint – complex treatment
About 1,500 children in Denmark have been diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, which often leads to inflammation of the jaw joint. This leads to pain, poor joint function, and a developmental disorder in the face, which in severe cases may lead to sleep apnea and the need for surgical treatment of the patient’s jaw.
To date, it has proven difficult to find an effective treatment for TMJ, because it is a complex joint, and optimal treatment requires the involvement of many different groups of medical professionals, including radiologists, pediatric rheumatologists, physiotherapists, and maxillofacial surgeons. and orthodontics.
But now, a group of experts from these disciplines has come together to produce joint recommendations and guidelines for multidisciplinary collaborative treatment regarding osteoarthritis of the jaw.
“Health systems are regulated in different ways across the world, and thus the treatments offered have been a bit haphazard. Now, guidelines for optimal collaboration in treating this condition have been developed, which can guide individual patient treatment, but also help health systems organize themselves in a way that makes This multidisciplinary approach to treatment is possible,” explains Peter Stostrop.
The new recommendations and guidelines are based on knowledge and evidence available in the region.
The study on which the Guidelines are based provides a basis for further research and informative work, and the Guidelines will be revised as new knowledge becomes available.
Of great value in countries without health insurance
In Aarhus, a multidisciplinary approach to treatment has been a normal practice for several years, and researchers from Aarhus University have therefore been the driving force behind the development of the guidelines in the area.
With recommendations in hand, Peter Bangsgaard Stoustrup says it will be easier to set up centers that practice multidisciplinary treatment for children and young people with osteoarthritis of the jaw.
This would be particularly useful for patients in countries that do not have public health insurance – for example the USA.
“We have on board centers like Boston Children’s Hospital and hospitals in Atlanta and Calgary, who are putting forward the organizational, multidisciplinary approach to this treatment that we’re proposing. We hope this will provide inspiration for other centers,” says Peter Bangsgaard-Stostrup.