Maxillofacial Musculoskeletal Diseases


Austin J Musculoskelet Disord. 2015;2(2): 1020.

Maxillofacial Musculoskeletal Diseases

Manu Krishnan¹*, Gurudutta Gangenahalli1, Satish R. Iyer² and Sanjay Londhe³

¹Department of Dental Research & Implantology, Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences, Defence Research & Development Organization, India

²Associate Director, Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences, Defence Research & Development Organization, India

³Classified Specialist in Prosthodontics, Command Military Dental Centre, Armed Forces Medical College, India

4Addl Director General Dental Services & Classified Specialist in Orthodontics Army Dental Centre, India

*Corresponding author: Lt Col Manu Krishnan, Department of Dental Research & Implantology, Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences, Defence Research & Development Organization, Luck now Road, Delhi, India

Received: October 16, 2014; Accepted: June 16, 2015; Published: June 18, 2015


Musculoskeletal diseases are a heterogeneous group of diseases/disorders/ syndromes, deriving its origin from cartilage/bone, muscle, nerve and blood vessels and affecting all age groups. Its variegated composition leads to overlap of symptoms, multisystem involvement and a chronic course coexisting with metabolic and aging diseases. All these make musculoskeletal diseases a major health issue influencing the quality of life. Further, oral manifestations of these diseases are a significant component that adds on to its severity and disability levels. However, there have been fewer attempts to bring these disease groups under a common umbrella in terms of their clinical strategies and rehabilitation protocols. This paper mainly focuses on the oral/dental features of these diseases as a separate entity of maxillofacial musculoskeletal diseases. It also reviews its contemporary and future treatment options with the objective of rendering comprehensive care through a multidisciplinary approach.

Keywords: Musculoskeletal; Maxillofacial


Musculoskeletal diseases are a major cause of disability among elders [1]. Bone and joint decade initiative of World Health Organization identifies chronic musculoskeletal pain of 3 months or more as a common medical complaint with every 1 in 2 adults, older than 18 years [2]. Directly, they do not add on to the mortality rate of a community; however, its impact and influence on the quality of life and its driving nature towards terminal ill health conditions, makes it a serious socioeconomic issue [3]. Since the degree of limitations for performing routine life activities; locomotion, eating, own body care and sleeping, widely range among patients, understanding their treatment and rehabilitation needs are challenging for both the policy makers and care givers. Though the terminology of musculoskeletal denotes involvement of muscles and skeletal tissues, this group draws diseases, disorders and syndromes anatomically and functionally from four components: muscles, bone, nerves and vessels. Notwithstanding that, there is no single classification under which these diseases of diversified origin are placed. Further, musculoskeletal diseases often show a modified response in the maxillofacial bones; maxilla and mandible, unlike other long and flat bones. This is due to the ’’additional variable’ of masticatory stresses which are transferred to these bones through the teeth embedded in it. All these make maxillofacial musculoskeletal diseases an unattended or ill-understood group. These foster a strong cause for reviewing these diseases; considering the fact that little consensus exists even on its classification. This paper presents the major maxillofacial musculoskeletal diseases which have a direct bearing on the general and oral/dental health. It also evaluates its contemporary medical and surgical modalities along with future stem cell based treatment approaches.

Maxillofacial musculoskeletal diseases

Musculoskeletal diseases directly or indirectly involve the oral tissues. However, their diagnosis often remains as an elusive issue in dental practice because many of the entities do not generally manifest as patient seek dental treatment. The disabling nature of these types of diseases also compromises the oral hygiene practices, further accentuating the damages. Some of the drugs used for musculoskeletal diseases alter the immune system and cause dental effects; delayed wound healing, increased bleeding tendencies and susceptibility to opportunistic infections [4]. (Table 1) enumerates the main diseases affecting maxillofacial bones [5]. (Figure 1 and 2) illustrate the different groups of musculoskeletal diseases originating from different tissues. The succeeding discussions focus only on the important diseases form this group from an oral/dental perspective.