Dr. Perez grew up in Columbus Ohio while her parents were studying at the Ohio Sate University. She received her dental degree (DDS) from the University of Concepcion, Chile, in 1998. She completed a certificate program in Pediatric Dentistry in 2000 before entering her residency program in Pediatric Dentistry which she completed in 2002. She then completed a certificate program in Pathophysiology of Temporomandibular Disorders in Children 2006 before moving to Kentucky where she completed a residency program/Master’s degree in Orofacial pain 2011. Dr. Perez has obtained board certification in both Pediatric Dentistry and Orofacial Pain making her one of the few dually trained and dually board certified. In 2011, Dr. Perez joined the University of Kentucky, College of Dentistry as assistant professor in the division of Pediatric Dentistry where she practices and teaches pediatric dental residents as well as Orofacial pain residents. She created a unique Adolescent TMD clinic at the University of Kentucky that has flourished since 2015. She is currently the Pediatric Dentistry residency program director and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Kentukcy. Her current areas of interest are, TMD and OSA in children and adolescents.
Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) in children and adolescents can cause pain and dysfunction in the muscles of mastication, temporomandibular joints (TMJs), and associated structures. They are prevalent in this population can be associated to a decrease in daily activities and reduction in quality of life. There is not one specific factor associated to the development of TMDs but usually a combination of causes including macro and micro trauma, systemic and genetic factors, occlusion, and psychological factors are to blame. A thorough history, examination and sometimes imaging help make a definitive diagnosis and select appropriate treatment options. A number of options exist for the management of these conditions, including self-help suggestions, behavior modification, physical therapy, pharmacologic management, and orthopedic occlusal appliances. In children and adolescents reversible options should always be considered first.
• Understand the main causes of TMD in children and adolescents.
• Discuss the factors associated to the development of TMD’s in children and adolescents.
• Name the steps involved in providing a thorough history and examination for TMD disorders.
• Describe the possible diagnosis and possible treatments associated to TMD in children and adolescents.