Disorders of the temporomandibular joint affect the jaw joint and muscles controlling the jaw. TMJ disorders are challenging to diagnose and treat because of the complexities of the joint. Approximately 12% of Americans experience problems with TMJ disorders at some time during their lives. More women are affected by this problem than men and have severe pain or restricted jaw movement.
Understand the reasons, symptoms, and treatment options available for TMJ disorders because it is essential both for patients and doctors.
The base of the skull is the location of the temporomandibular joint. It is popularly referred to as TMJ as it allows the movement needed for chewing and speaking. The joint connects the lower jaw and the temporal bone, which is located on the side of the skull. The TMJ joint allows movement up-and-down as well as side-to-side making it one of the most complex joints in the body. The complexity can make severe disorders challenging to treat.
Conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint specifically are known as TMJ disorders. The range of symptoms can vary, causing different levels of discomfort. Many reasons are attributed to TMJ disorders, and therefore a variety of TMJ treatment options are also available. The diagnosis of this condition will be based on the kind of symptoms, including pain around the jaw and restrictions on the movement. These disorders generally resolve themselves within a couple of months, but some cases may be recurrent an ongoing.
Many possible reasons have been identified as the cause for TMJ disorder, some of which include physical injury, arthritis, bruxism, autoimmune conditions, dental surgery, or infections. Genetic, hormonal, and environmental causes have been attributed to the disorder. As women are affected more than men with this problem, researchers are looking into the hormonal causes of TMJ.
People affected by TMJ disorders can experience a range of symptoms encouraging them to seek TMJ treatment near me. The symptoms include pain when moving the jaw, headaches, migraines, earaches, backaches, and pain spreading around the cheeks and the ear. If the doctor is unable to identify the problem near the jaw, he or she will look for other symptoms like TMJ vision problems when diagnosing the issue. People may also hear unusual popping sounds like clicking or grinding that occurs when eating, speaking, or opening the mouth. They may experience limited movement preventing them from fully opening their mouth or jaw in specific directions because it causes severe discomfort.
If pre-existing conditions cause the disorder, it can be treated by specific treatment options. The dentist in Burlington regularly treats TMJ disorders caused by bruxism by providing patients with a mouthguard when appropriate. People must understand that a dentist can treat not all symptoms of the disease near me. Some signs will need intervention from a physician. In cases where degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis cause the disorder, steroids may be recommended as a treatment plan. A physician must administer steroids by injecting it into the joints to reduce pain and ease swelling. Over-the-counter pain medications can also provide relief and reduce discomfort in some cases. In extreme cases where the movement of the jaw is severely restricted, and the symptoms are ongoing replacement of the jaw joint may be suggested.
The dentist in Wilmington, MA, suggests self-care and lifestyle change at-home because these have been proven as efficient to manage mild to moderate symptoms of TMJ disorders. Dentists may recommend people not to chew gum, eat soft foods, and avoid clenching or tensing the jaw. Gentle exercises may also be recommended to stretch the jaw slightly along with massaging the affected muscles.
A healthcare professional can advise on the most appropriate exercises to adopt along with lifestyle changes that can ease the symptoms of TMJ disorders. Symptoms can also be reduced by applying ice or moist heat. The healthcare professional or dentist may recommend a combination of rest and gentle exercise as an effective method of reducing the symptoms of this condition.
TMJ disorders are not concerning and usually pass away after a couple of months. However, when the symptoms lower the quality-of-life, it must be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible for effective management.