What is TMJ Disorder?
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, shortened to TMJ, is a condition in which the temporomandibular joint, is misaligned or overworked. As the TMJ is the main joint in the mouth TMJ disorder is a potentially very painful condition that can lead to pain around the neck and mouth, problems opening and closing the mouth, and headaches. Patients with TMJ disorder note that they sometimes suffer clicking whenever they yawn or chew. TMJ Disorder is often misdiagnosed as other medical conditions, or sometimes just as stress.
The symptoms and signs of the disorder include;
- Tenderness or pain in the jaw.
- Pain in one or both sides of your jaws.
- Facial pain.
- Pain in or around your ear.
- Discomfort while chewing anything.
- Difficulty in opening and closing of your mouth.
The temporomandibular joint combines a hinge action with sliding motions. The parts of the bones that interact in the joint are covered with cartilage and are separated by a small shock-absorbing disk, which normally keeps the movement smooth.
Painful TMJ disorders can occur if:
- The disk erodes or moves out of its proper alignment
- The joint’s cartilage is damaged by arthritis
- The joint is damaged by a blow or other impact
- In many cases, however, the cause of TMJ disorders isn’t clear.
Why does teeth grinding or bruxing cause TMD?
Teeth grinding, or bruxing, places pressure on the muscles, tissues and supporting structures of the jaw, causing pain and joint dysfunction.
How is TMD diagnosed?
Whilst identifying TMD can be difficult, a conclusive diagnosis is made through comprehensive review of a patient’s medical history, along with physical examination and medical imaging if required.
How is TMD treated?
Treatments can include; medication, appliance therapy (splints & mouthguards), occlusal equilibration (reshaping the bite), laser therapy,Myotherapy and orthodontia or Maxillofacial Surgery
Will I need surgery for my TMD?
Surgical treatment is considered only after all other conservative treatment options have been exhausted.