Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a joint that acts as a link between your jaws to the temporal bones of the skull. This joint helps you eat, yawn, talk, and move your jaw from side to side or up and down. Any dysfunction of a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is known as a temporomandibular disorder.

TMJ dysfunction happens due to many different conditions, including a jaw injury, arthritis, bad posture, stress, teeth grinding, gum chewing, or misalignment of the teeth or jaws. TMJ problems can also result in nerve irritation and Eustachian tube dysfunction.

What causes TMJ dysfunction?

TMJ dysfunction arises due to an injury to the jaw joint. Other causes of TMJ disorder include:

  • Grinding and clutching your teeth.
  • Shifting the soft cushion or disc between the joint’s ball and socket can cause TMJ disorder.
  • Joint inflammation
  • Stress can lead you to clench your teeth or tighten your jaw, which can develop TMJ disorder.

Risk factors

Several risk factors increase the development of TMJ disorder. These risk factors include:

  • Arthritis such as Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
  • Severe jaw injury
  • Intense teeth grinding and teeth clenching
  • Connective tissue illnesses.

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?

TMJ disorder development rate is higher in women as compared to men; it is more frequent in adults. The following are some of the most prevalent TMJ symptoms:

  • Pain in the jaw.
  • Frequent headaches.
  • Pain in ears
  • Spine and shoulder discomfort
  • Hassle while opening your mouth.
  • “Locking” of jaws while opening or closing your mouth.
  • Grating sounds in your jaw joint whenever you open or close your mouth
  • Pale face
  • Difficulty while chewing your food.
  • Tinnitus.
  • Modifications to the way your teeth fit together.
  • Swollen face.
  • Toothache
  • Hearing problems

When to see a TMJ specialist?

Several treatments can cure TMJ dysfunction. The first step is to consult with your doctor for an assessment. It is preferable to treat the disease as soon as possible before the symptoms develop. Schedule an appointment with your dentist right away if you are experiencing typical TMJ dysfunction symptoms like discomfort in the jaw and trouble while opening or closing your mouth. If you grind or clench your teeth and the suggested treatments do not give adequate relief, you should book an appointment with a TMJ specialist.

Conclusion

Jaw discomfort may appear insignificant, especially if it is infrequent. If you do not get the medical treatment at an early stage of TMJ dysfunction, it can severely impair daily tasks such as biting, eating, and speaking. If you suspect you have TMJ problems, contact your doctor and make an appointment. Early treatment of TMJ disorder can help you control the illness and it also helps you to enhance your overall quality of life.

Contact your Danville dentist, Dr. Hoss Abar, DDS, MSD at Danville Orthodontics now to learn more about the temporomandibular joints.

Resource:

How Can A Dentist Cure TMJ?

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