TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorders)

The Temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. When this joint is injured or damaged, it can lead to a localized pain disorder called TMJ syndrome. This means that the hinge connecting the upper and lower jaw isn’t working properly. This joint is one of the most complex in the body, responsible for moving the lower jaw forward, backward and side-to-side. TMJ syndrome feels like yourjaw is clicking or “getting stuck” for as moment.

TMJ syndrome’s causes

The causes of this disorder are not really known. Some possible causes are injuries to the jaw area, various forms of arthritis, some dental procedures, teeth grinding. Because this condition is more common in women than in men, scientists are exploring a possible link between female hormones and TMJ disorders.

Signs and symptoms

Pain, particularly in the chewing muscles and/or jaw joint;

Headaches, earaches and pain and pressure behind the eyes;

A clicking sound when you open or close your mouth;

A change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together;

Pain brought on by yawning or chewing;

Jaws that “get stuck”, limited movement or locking of the jaw;

Jaw muscle stiffness.

Treatment

For most people, discomfort from TMJ disorders will eventually go away with little or no treatment. If you are diagnosed with TMJ, your dentist may recommend you to one of the following:

Reducing the harmful effects of teeth grinding by wearing a night guard;

Learning relaxation techniques to help control muscle tension in the jaw;

Putting ice or cold packs to the area of the joint;

Eating soft foods and avoiding chewing gum;

Some sedative essential oils (such as lavender, chamomille) may provide temporary relief from the pain and discomfort of TMJ.

In some cases, your dentist may recommend fixing an uneven bite or orthodontic treatment.

As a conclusion Termomandibular joint disorder is not a condition we must worry about because the discomfort will go away. Complex cases need an entire team of experts from various fields to diagnose and treat this condition. If you have questions regarding TMJ, give us a call at 610.647.7611.

References:

 

https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/Topics/TMJ/

https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/topics/tmj/tmjdisorders.htm

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/tmj

http://www.medicinenet.com/temporomandibular_joint_syndrome_tmj/article.htm

https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-care-topics/what-to-know-about-tmj

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/temporomandibular-disorders-tmd#1

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/temporomandibular-disorder/article/what-is-temporomandibular-joint-disorder-tmj

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