Your temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. It lets you move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn. Problems with your jaws and the muscles in your face that control this joint are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
Injury to your jaw, the joint, or the muscles of your head and neck — like from a heavy blow or whiplash — can lead to TMD. Other causes include:
– Grinding or clenching Of your teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the joint.
– Movement of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket of the joint.
– Arthritis in the joint.
– Stress, which can cause you to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth.
What are the Symptoms?
TMD often causes severe pain and discomfort. It can be temporary or last many years. It might affect one or both sides of your face. More women than men have it, and it’s most common among people between the ages of 20 and 40.
Common symptoms include:
Problems when you try to open your mouth wide.
Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position.
Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth or chew. This may or may not be painful.
A tired feeling in your face.
Swelling on the side of your face
How are TMJ disorders are treated
Self care practices:
Theses are steps you can take that may be helpful in easing symptoms, such as
– applying ice packs
– avoiding extreme jaw
movements( yawning, gum chewing, lous singing)
– learning techniques for relaxing and reducing stress.
– practicing gentle jaw stretching and relaxing exercises.
For many people with TMJ disorders, short term use of non steroidal anti inflammatory (NSAIDS) drugs, muscle relaxants provide temporary relief.
One of preferred therapies for treating patients with TMDs. Stabilization splint is an oral appliance that fits over your upper or lower teeth. It lessens the effect of clenching & grinding and correct your bite by putting your teeth in a more correct position.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
This therapy uses low-level electrical currents to provide pain relief by relaxing your jaw joint and facial muscles.
ULTRASOUND– Deep heat applied to the joint can relieve soreness or improve mobility.
In very severe cases of TMJ disorders, where movement of the jaw is extremely restricted, and symptoms are long-lasting, the joint may need to be replaced with IMPLANTS.