Navigating clinical oral anatomy imperative to successful oral care - DVM
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Navigating clinical oral anatomy imperative to successful oral care

DVM InFocus


Photo 23
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is formed by the condylar process of the mandible and the mandibular fossa of the temporal bone (Photo 23). Abnormalities in this area can result in pain, crepitance and the inability to close or open the mouth. Traumatic dislocations are common, especially in the cat. Radiographic positioning is tedious for this region, and CT imaging is becoming the technique of choice for more involved cases (Photo 24).

Photo 24
The muscles of mastication include the muscles that open and close the mouth. Those that close the mouth are the strongest and most numerous for obvious reasons and include the temporalis, masseter and lateral and medial pterygoid. The digasticus muscle is the muscle that acts to open the mouth. A commonly recognized problem associated with the muscles of mastication is masticatory muscle myositis that results in acute pain and eventual inability to open the mouth due to chronic inflammation and fibrosis.

Recognition of the major anatomical structures within the oral cavity gives the veterinarian and technician a comfortable base for making medical and surgical decisions that benefit the patient. The veterinary dental knowledge base has expanded dramatically in the recent past. This review has provided updates with current and accepted nomenclature and has provided some clinical syndromes commonly associated with that anatomy.

Brett Beckman
Dr. Beckman, diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College, owns and operates South Florida Veterinary Dental Service in Punta Gorda, Fla.


Source: DVM InFocus,
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