Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is the name used for a group of connective tissue disorders, which are all hereditary. What all of these diseases share are defects in the body’s collagen, a major structural protein. Collagen literally holds the body together, by providing elasticity and strength to the body’s cells and tissue.

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Because of hereditary problems with collagen, patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome have abnormally flexible, loose joints (articular hypermobility) that may easily become dislocated; unusually loose, thin, stretchy (elastic) skin; and excessive fragility of the skin, blood vessels, and other bodily tissues and membranes. Among the areas critically affected by this unusually loose structure are the neck and jaw, often triggering TMJ syndrome and requiring specialized care. Gum disease is also a side effect of some types of EDS.

EDS often goes undiagnosed for many years, because the symptoms are often mistaken for other conditions. Patients often describe being called “double jointed,” because they can bend their fingers back almost touching the top of their hands, or bend their thumbs back to touch their wrist. These two types of hypermobility are just two points on the Beighton Diagnostic Criteria test, used to diagnose hypermobility. This type of “loose joint” can have a significant impact on the craniofacial structure, especially the head and neck.

While there is no cure for EDS, treatment and support of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome patients with head/neck/TMJ involvement can dramatically reduce pain and improve function.
EDS affects one in 2,500 to 5,000 people, including both males and females and across all races and ethnicities.

For more information, please send our brochure, “TMJ & Craniofacial Pain in the EDS Patient” or call our office for an appointment or schedule an appointment online here: Schedule an Appointment