Orofacial pain induced by Eagle syndrome in an elderly patient with temporomandibular disorders – a case report

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Abstract

Background:

Eagle syndrome (ES) is a rare disorder that can be responsible for orofacial pain.

Objective:

To describe the treatment of an elderly patient affected by ES and temporomandibular disorders (TMD).

Materials and methods:

A patient complained of constant pain of the right temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and of the sensation of having a foreign body in the throat. Based on the patient's medical history and symptoms, a TMJs internal derangement and concomitant ES were suspected. A magnetic resonance and a computerised tomography confirmed the clinical diagnosis. A conservative treatment was initially performed to re-establish a functional occlusion.

Results:

The rehabilitative treatment alleviated the pain almost totally. A slight residual uncomfortable sensation of the presence of a foreign body in the throat persisted after the oral rehabilitation but without any influence on the quality of life.

Conclusion:

In elderly patients complaining a chronic orofacial pain, the possibility of a concomitant TMD and ES has to be considered to correctly identify the source of pain. A conservative approach to identify weather TMD is the main source of pain is preferable, avoiding unnecessary invasive treatments.

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