Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ Syndrome)


Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) affects the joints of the jaw bones on either side of the face, and/or nearby structures, including cartilage, adjacent connective tissue, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, teeth, and muscles of the face and neck.  Damage to these tissues results from various causes, such as teeth grinding and jaw muscle clenching (bruxism), osteoarthritis, misalignment of teeth, orthodontic braces, trauma, muscle strains, and even poor posture, poor diet, stress, and lack of sleep.

Patients suffering from TMJ disorders may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain that travels through the face, jaw, or neck
  • Stiff jaw muscles
  • Limited movement or locking of the jaw
  • Painful clicking or popping in the jaw
  • A change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, and opening/closing mouth
  • Ringing in the ears, headaches, earaches, or dizziness

To prevent a relapse of symptoms, patients should take prescribed medications, undergo necessary corrective dental treatment or surgery, wear appropriate orthodontic appliances such as splints, avoid eating hard food, grinding teeth, or chewing gum, manage muscle stress and tension by massaging and exercising the jaw, and apply heat or cold to the muscles of the jaw.

Those who suffer from TMJ syndrome will find options like medication, Botulinum toxin injections, Prolotherapy, Cortisone injections, acupuncture, Biofeedback, and psychotherapy when they come to our office for help.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Sources:

McAllister, M.J.  “Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.”  Institute for Chronic Pain.  Available from:  http://www.instituteforchronicpain.org/common-conditions/temporomandibular-joint-disorder.

“Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction.”  MedlinePlus.  Available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001227.htm.

 

 

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