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What is Temporo Mandibular Joint?
The temporo mandibular joint (TMJ) acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. You have one joint on each side of your jaw. TMJ disorders — a type of temporo mandibular disorder or TMD — can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement.
Your pain may be due to a combination of factors, such as genetics, arthritis or jaw injury. Some people who have jaw pain also tend to clench or grind their teeth (bruxism), although many people habitually clench or grind their teeth and never develop TMJ disorders. TMJ disorders are temporary and can be relieved with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatments. Surgery is typically a last resort after conservative measures have failed.
Poor posture in the neck and upper back muscles may lead to neck strain and abnormalities of jaw muscle function.
Stress may increase muscle tension and jaw clenching.
Women 18-44 years of age have increased risk.
Patients with other chronic inflammatory arthritis have increased risk.
People with jaw trauma or poorly positioned teeth have increased risk.
People who have a genetic predisposition to pain sensitivity and increased stress responses may be more susceptible.
Jaw clicking and popping
Popping sounds in ears
Stiff or sore jaw muscles
Pain in the temple area
Locking of the jaw joint
Listen to and feel your jaw when you open and close your mouth
Observe the range of motion in your jaw
Press on areas around your jaw to identify sites of pain or discomfort
If your doctor or dentist sees a problem, you may need:
Dental X-rays to examine your teeth and jaw
CT scan to provide detailed images of the bones involved in the joint
MRI to reveal problems with the joint's disk or surrounding soft tissue
Along with other nonsurgical treatments, these medication options may help relieve the pain associated with TMJ disorders:
Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory. If over-the-counter pain medications aren't enough to relieve TMJ pain, your doctor or dentist may prescribe stronger pain relievers for a limited time.
Muscle relaxants. These types of drugs are sometimes used for a few days or weeks to help relieve pain caused by TMJ disorders created by muscle spasms.
Nondrug therapies for TMJ disorders include: Oral splints or mouth guards (occlusal appliances). Often, people with jaw pain will benefit from wearing a soft or firm device inserted over their teeth, but the reasons why these devices are beneficial are not well-understood.
Physical therapy. Along with exercises to stretch and strengthen jaw muscles, treatments might include ultrasound, moist heat and ice.
Counseling. Education and counseling can help you understand the factors and behaviors that may aggravate your pain, so you can avoid them. Examples include teeth clenching or grinding, leaning on your chin, or biting fingernails.
Surgery and Other Procedures
When other methods don't help, doctor might suggest procedures such as:
Arthrocentesis. Arthrocentesis is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the insertion of small needles into the joint so that fluid can be irrigated through the joint to remove debris and inflammatory byproducts.
Injections. In some people, corticosteroid injections into the joint may be helpful. Infrequently, injecting botulinum toxin type A (Botox, others) into the jaw muscles used for chewing may relieve pain associated with TMJ disorders.
TMJ arthroscopy. In some cases, arthroscopic surgery can be as effective for treating various types of TMJ disorders as open-joint surgery. A small thin tube (cannula) is placed into the joint space, an arthroscope is then inserted and small surgical instruments are used for surgery. TMJ arthroscopy has fewer risks and complications than open-joint surgery does, but it has some limitations as well.
Modified condylotomy. Modified condylotomy addresses the TMJ indirectly, with surgery on the mandible, but not in the joint itself. It may be helpful for treatment of pain and if locking is experienced.
Open-joint surgery. If your jaw pain does not resolve with more-conservative treatments and it appears to be caused by a structural problem in the joint, your doctor or dentist may suggest open-joint surgery (arthrotomy) to repair or replace the joint. However, open-joint surgery involves more risks than other procedures do and should be considered very carefully, after discussing the pros and cons.
If you have any related query, you can send us your report on below mention email address or you can call us or whatsApp for any second opinion.
While opening your jaw slightly, place a finger over the joint in front of your ear, and then open wide until you can feel the joint move. If you feel the joint click or if it's tender when you press, you may have a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
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