What is a Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)?
If you are experiencing pain that’s near your ear or perhaps on the muscle located on the side of your face or your jaw and there’s a clicking or popping sound with it or it restricts your jaw movement, you probably have a Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD). Some people actually uses the term TMJ incorrectly for such problems and TMJ means as Temporomandibular joint. If you have a TMJ, you probably don’t have TMD.
TMD are known as various conditions that are characterized on the pain and dysfunction of TMJ or the muscles that surrounds it. It can be a challenge to know what’s the cause of the symptoms, but most of the TMD could resolve themselves through the conservative remedies which doctors recommend. It is really important though that you do research for some of the remedies first prior to making any moves yourself that could lead to problems that are irreversible like ending up going through surgery.
There are two TMJs that connects your lower jaw and are known as the mandible to your temporal bone of your skull, which are considered as complex joints that will allow movement on three dimensions. Your temporal bone and your lower jaw works together as a ball and a socket which also have a cushioning disk that’s in between. Large pairs of muscles in your cheeks and in your temples are the ones that will move your lower jaw. You should be aware though that it’s either the joint, disk or the muscles that becomes the source of the problem for TMJ. If you are experiencing pain or perhaps you have difficulties on closing or in opening your jaw, the doctor will implement thorough examinations so that they are able to determine the primary reason of the problem and the doctor will be the one to give suggestions on what are the appropriate remedies.
Like other joints, other causes of TMJ problems would be due to orthopedic problems like sore muscles, inflammation, disk problems or having strained tendons. Another addition is that TMD can be passed on through genes, age and gender as well. Another reason would be due to psychological and physical stress. Jaw pain also can be related to widespread and pain-inducing medical conditions.
After your doctor will examine you, they will then come up with an appropriate strategy in treating your condition and in managing your pain. There are also instances sometimes with where temporary changes on their diets are able to help on reducing stress on their joints and muscles.
There are severe TMJ cases which needs a more complex treatment that includes dental restorations, orthodontics or perhaps minor procedures inside your joint like flushing of your joint or cortisone injections. Major surgeries are however rare for cases of TMD, which is why it’s essential that you consider on the different conservative and reversible treatments and give it enough time to work because they are not always effective.