Joint Pain (TMJ Disorder)
What is a TM Joint?
Joint Dysfunction or TMJ disorder is a term used to describe
a disorder of the joint located in front of the ear where the
skull and lower jaw meet.
The TM Joint is like a hinge between the upper and lower jaw
and is the most active joint in the body. It is a complex joint,
and is affected by stress and the position of your bite, jawbone
and muscles. Muscles and connective tissue are attached directly
to the joint and help control it's movement and position. Muscles
allow you to open and close your mouth, and control forward,
backward and side to side movements of the lower jaw, also known
as the mandible. The muscles, ligaments, bones and joints of
the jaw work together when you chew, speak, and swallow.
Problems With Your Jaw?
If a disorder exists with this joint, it can make eating,
talking and even yawning painful. TMJ disorders can be relatively
minor or extremely debilitating. There may be many reasons for
a TMJ disorder: clenching or grinding of the teeth, tightening
jaw muscles, disease or injury can cause problems with your TM
joint. TMJ disorder sufferers can display a variety of symptoms.
Some common complaints of TMJ disorders include:
or pops in the joint when opening or closing the mouth
or painful jaw muscles
or pain upon open or closing the mouth
headaches or neckaches
in the TM joint
or buzzing sound in the ears
of stuffiness, pressure blockage or pain in the ears
impairment that comes and goes
in the sinus area or behind eyes
- The cause
of TMJ dysfunction may involve the muscles of the joint, the
bite or the joint itself.
Disorders can be caused by:
on the surrounding muscles
clenching or grinding also known as bruxism
poor posture body alignment can cause the muscles surroundingthe
joint to tighten or spasm
problems can occur as a result of an injury to the joint or injuries
such as whiplash
such as arthritis
between the muscles and TM joint is an important one in preventing
and treating TMJ disorders. If left untreated, muscles and joints
that do not work well together may become trapped in a cycle
of spasms and cause further injury to the joint, muscles and
Treatment of TMJ Disorders:
There are many surgical and nonsurgical treatment options
or a combination treatments that can help restore normal function.
In some cases, relief from discomfort can come from selfcare
techniques under the direction of your surgeon.