What is the function of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) constitute the two joints which connect your jaw and your skull. They constitute the joint that rotate and slide to the left and right of each ear and comprise the mandible (the lower jaw) and the temporal bone (the sides and the base of your skull). The TMJs are among the most intricate joints of the body. The joints, as well as many muscles, allow mandibles to go upwards and down, side-to-side as well as forward and back. If the mandible and joints are aligned properly and smooth muscle movements like chewing or talking, yawning and swallowing, occur. If these structures (muscles ligaments, muscles, disk temporal bone, jaw bone) aren’t aligned, or synchronized in their movements various issues can arise.
What is temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD)?
Disorders of the temporomandibular ligament (TMD) are conditions of the jaw muscles temporomandibular joints and the nerves that are associated with chronic facial pain. Any issue that blocks the complicated system of bones, muscles and joints from functioning in harmony could cause temporomandibular disorders.
For more information on what is TMD Disorder, visit this website.
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research categorizes TMD as follows:
Myofascial pain. It is the most commonly reported kind of TMD. It can cause pain or discomfort within the fascia (connective tissue that surrounds the muscles) and the muscles that regulate the neck, jaw and shoulder function.
Internal dislocation of joint. This can be caused by a jaw that is dislocated or a disk that is displaced (cushion of cartilage between jaw’s head bones and skull) or injuries on the condyle (the part of the jaw bone which articulates with the temporal bone).
Degenerative joint disease of the joint. This can be caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis of the jaw joint.
You may suffer from any of these conditions simultaneously.
What are the causes of TMD?
In many instances the causes of this condition may not be obvious. The most common cause may be an excessive stress upon the joints of your jaw as well as the muscles that control chewing and swallowing. The strain could result from bruxism. It is the regular grinding of teeth. However, trauma on the jaws, neck, or the head could result in TMD. Arthritis and the displacement of disks in the jaw can result in TMD discomfort. In some cases, a chronic medical issue, like IBS or fibromyalgia could be a factor that can cause or increase the discomfort of TMD. A recent study conducted by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research identified sensory, psychological, clinical and genetic system elements that can place a person at a higher likelihood to develop chronic TMD.
What are the symptoms and signs of TMD?
Here are the top frequently reported symptoms and signs of TMD:
Jaw pain or soreness (often usually most noticeable in the early morning or in the late afternoon)
The pain can be felt behind the eyes in the face, neck, shoulder, and/or back
Ringing in the ear (not result of an infection in the ear canal’s inner part)
Popping or clicking of the jaw
The jaw must be locked.
The mouth is not moving as much.
Grinding or clenching of teeth
The teeth can be sensitive with no oral health condition
A tingling or numb sensation can be felt in the fingers
Changes in the way upper and lower teeth are positioned together.
The signs and symptoms of TMD could be similar to those of other medical or other issues. Visit a dentist or physician for a diagnosis.
What are the treatment options for TMD?
Your doctor will work out the best treatment for you based on:
How old are you?
Your general health and medical background
How well do you take specific drugs treatments, procedures, or treatments
How long is the condition likely to last?
Your opinion or your preference
Treatment could include:
Resting the temporomandibular joints (TMJ)
Pain relievers or medicine
Techniques for relaxation and strategies for managing stress
Changes in behavior (to decrease or stop teeth from clenching)
An orthopaedic device or mouthguard that is worn inside the mouth (to minimize grinding)
Dietary changes (to relax jaw muscles)
Hot packs and ice