Updated: Aug 23
Condylar resorption is a condition that impacts the temporomandibular jaw joints (TMJ). It is most commonly found in young girls (typically between the ages of 10 and 20) and is sometimes referred to as "Cheerleader Syndrome" as it frequently occurs in those participating in sports activities, such as cheerleading, that can cause minor or major trauma to the jaws.
Some children and teens develop condylar resorption without an obvious cause. This is known as idiopathic condylar resorption. Idiopathic condylar resorption is rare. While the exact cause of a child's TMJ disorder can be difficult to determine, it can lead to airway and other long-term mental and health issues.
This is a well-documented but poorly understood disease process that occurs with a 9:1 female-to-male frequency ratio and rarely develops after the age of 20 years. ~ National Library of Medicine
This is a relatively rare condition that causes the jaw bones to break down. The bone loss impacts the mandibular condyles and causes the mandible (the lower jaw) to shrink or retract back. This change can take months or years to present in children. As the lower jaw retracts back, it can cause airway disorder issues.
SYMPTOMS AND IMPACT OF CONDYLAR RESORPTION
The most obvious symptom of idiopathic condylar resorption is the change in facial appearance. The lower jar will look smaller, appearing to shrink back. The chin will also begin to display less definition.
Children and young girls with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) such as condylar resorption will experience headaches, jaw pain, and have trouble moving their jaw naturally.
Signs and symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders may include:
Pain or tenderness of your jaw
Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
Aching pain in and around your ear
Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
Aching facial pain
Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth
Overbite or open bite
Malocclusion (crooked teeth)
EDUCATION IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS HELP FOR YOUR CHILD
Education is the first step for any parent who might be concerned about their child's mental and physical health.
The Children's Airway First Foundation Resource library has information that can aid in identifying symptoms and providing guidance on the first steps towards helping your child with an airway disorder.
As with any medical condition, consult your child's pediatrician should you see any of these symptoms in your child or if you suspect your child is suffering from an airway disorder.