February 12, 2014
What Is TMJ Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?
The temporomandibular joint connects the skull to the jawbone. Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJD dysfunction, is a condition that causes pain in the muscles that move the jaw and the jaw joint. This condition is not uncommon. In fact, it is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of adults will have temporomandibular joint disorder at some point in their lifetime.
Causes of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
The exact causes of TMJD disorder are not understood. However, there are several things that can possibly contribute to this disorder. A blow to the TMJ joint, arthritis and a disc that moves out of the proper alignment are examples of some of the things that can contribute to TMJ temporomandibular joint disorder. Women are more likely to get this disorder than men. Additionally, most people who are affected with this condition are between the ages of 20 and 40.
Symptoms of TMJD Dysfunction
Aching in pain around the ear, tenderness or pain inside of the jaw and facial pain are some of the most common symptoms of TMJD disorder. Some people who have this problem may experience locking of the jaw, which makes it difficult for them to open and close their jaw. Additionally, it is common for people with this problem to experience aching while they are chewing.
In most cases, the symptoms of TMJD go away on their own. However, people who do not get relief will need to see a dentist such as Dr. Johnston. A dentist will diagnose TMJ disorder by examining a patient’s jaw and bite. X-rays may also be taken.
A dentist may recommend an orthodontic appliance. The orthodontic appliance, which is sometimes called an oral splint, helps keep the jaw joints in a stable position. Some patients may be referred to a physician. A physician can prescribe muscle relaxants or sedatives. Physical therapy is also effective for treating TMJ. Surgery is usually the last result for TMJ treatment.
One of the best things that can be done to prevent TMJD disorder is to manage stress. Stress often leads to teeth grinding, and teeth grinding can put stress on the TMJ joint. Patients who have had a history of teeth grinding will need to wear an orthodontic appliance.
If you can relate to any of the above symptoms or descriptions, don’t wait another day, request an appointment with Johnston Dental Care today and get yourself on the right treatment track for your particular TMJ/D symptoms. Call us now!
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