Information About Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

An informative and descriptive article providing accurate information regarding temporomandibular joint disorder.

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a condition that describes both acute and chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint. This condition causes the joint that is located in the upper portion of the jaw to malfunction and may result in severe pain. This condition has various treatments due to the nature of its location which attracts advice from both neurological experts and dentists alike. The study of TMJ has lead researchers to accurate diagnosis procedures, a full description of symptoms and both short and long term treatments for the disorder including what to do if the jaw is dislocated during an episode.

Self diagnosing TMJ is usually coupled with experiencing symptoms. There are many symptoms of TMJ and if an individual were to experience more than one at a time it constitutes a visit to the doctors office. Regular symptoms of TMJ include, uncomfortable or difficult chewing, jaw aches,  clicking or grating when mouth opens or closes, headaches and earaches. The doctor will be able to diagnose TMJ upon witnessing the symptoms and will suggest a course of action based on what they have concluded.

Treatments of TMJ are widely discussed and various methods have been proven succesful. There are many short term options that generally include pain relief prescriptions that will relieve jaw pain, but will have little effect on neural symptoms. A long term approach is usually more beneficial than the short term medications. Before the operating dentist commences surgery, it is suggested that a test is performed locating any parafunctional jaw habits that are irregular and can be repaired alongside TMJ. After surgery ergonomic excercises that promote healthy posture are suggested and should be practiced for best results.

Patients with TMJ have a higher risk of jaw dislocation. A jaw dislocation may present a very uncomfortable and painful situation. In some cases the joints of the jaw are locked in place and the mouth may be stuck open. In this severe case it is very important not to force the jaw closed. Gentle massaging and slow movements may be able to relieve tension and work the displaced bone or tendon back into its proper location. Mild jaw dislocations will have milder symptoms such as headaches and sharp pains due to sudden cranial movements. If these symptoms seem to be worsening it is suggested that a doctor is notified.

Temporomandibular joint disorder is a semi common condition that is known to affect arthritis patients and individuals with prior jaw injuries. Frequent clenching of the jaw and grinding of teeth may be the cause of future TMJ. Practicing proper ergonomics reduces the risk of TMJ and could possibly reduce the risk of joint disorders.


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