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Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJ disorders) are medical disorders that involve the chewing muscles and joints that connect the lower jaw to the skull.
Temporomandibular joint disorders involve the jaw joint.
The jaw joint is sited just in front of the ear and it connects the jaw bone (mandible) to the skull near to the temple.
This particular jaw joint is known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
Medical conditions affecting this joint are typically called TMJ disorders.
The two temporomandibular joints are similar and sited just in front of the ears on each side of the head.
The results of physical stress on the structures around the joint are TMJ-related symptoms.
These structures include:
1. Cartilage disk at the joint
2. Muscles of the jaw, face, and neck
3. Nearby blood vessels, ligaments and nerves
TMJ disorders are believed to have multiple causes which mean that there are typically a number of risk factors contributing to the cause.
These factors can be categorized into two forms:
1. Problems linked to the muscles working the joint,
2. Problems inside the joint itself
The muscle problems are the most frequent form, especially for younger people.
Conditions related to the muscles are:
1. Over-activity of the jaw muscles
Some rare kinds of movement disorders (called orofacial dystonias) can cause excessive jaw clenching.
2. Increased sensitivity to pain.
A higher sensitivity to pain can be related to mental stress or other process which involves pain sensitivity.
3. Wear and tear to the inside of the joint
Wear and tear to the cartilage is due to a form of arthritis called osteoarthritis.
4. Certain types of arthritis.
Arthritis is the inflammation which occurs in a joint.
5. Injury to the TMJ or to its cartilage disc can cause TMJ pain.
6. Idiopathic TMJ cause: The cause in many people with temporomandibular joint disorders is unknown.
1. A bad bite or orthodontic braces
2. Stress and tooth grinding.
The stress related to this disorder may be caused by the pain as opposed to being the cause of the problem.
3. Poor posture can also be an important factor in TMJ symptoms.
Symptoms of TMJ disorders:
1. Jaw pain or tenderness of the jaw
2. Dull, aching pain in the face
4. Biting or chewing difficulty or discomfort
5. Difficulty opening or closing the mouth
6. Locking of the jaw
7. Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
The diagnosis has been made based on the symptoms and a doctor's physical examination.
A thorough examination will be required that involve:
1. A dental exam to show if you have poor bite alignment
2. Feeling the joint and muscles for tenderness
3. Pressing around the head to locate areas that are sensitive or painful
4. Sliding the teeth from side to side
5. Watching, feeling, and listening to the jaw open and shut
An MRI scans which can be used to give a detailed picture of the joint.
Arthroscopy of TMJ joint
1. Simple, gentle therapies are recommended first.
Physiotherapy methods such as how to gently stretch, relax, or massage muscles around the jaw are taught.
2. Resting the joint
3. Pain killers such as ibuprofen or codeine or paracetamol can relieve pain.
Muscle relaxant also help to loosen the jaw muscles
4. Moist heat or cold packs can be applied on the face.
5. Stress-reducing techniques can be learned.
6. Exercising several times each week may help you improve the ability to handle pain.
Mouth splints or bite guards have been utilized to treat TMJ disorders.
An injection of a steroid into the joint can reduce inflammation in the joint or botox
Surgical repair of the joint may be needed.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Chapter 1 TMJ Disorders
Chapter 2 Causes
Chapter 3 Symptoms
Chapter 4 Diagnosis
Chapter 5 Treatment
Chapter 6 Prognosis
Chapter 7 Rheumatoid Arthritis
Chapter 8 Bruxism