Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)

Jaw pain clicking and discomfort
Jaw pain and discomfort

What is Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) occur as a result of problems with the jaw muscles, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and movement of the jaw. Many people have problems with jaw movement and pain in and around the jaw joints at some time during their lives. These joint and muscle problems are complex and require expert attention.

What are the symptoms?

Temporomandibular joint disorders can affect the jaw and jaw joint as well as muscles in the face, shoulder, head, and neck. Common symptoms include joint pain, muscle pain, headaches, joint sounds (clicking or creptitations), trouble with fully opening the mouth, and jaw locking (trismus) . In most cases, symptoms of Temporomandibular joint disorders are mild. They tend to come and go without getting worse and usually go away without dental care. However, some people who have TM disorders develop long-lasting (chronic) symptoms. Chronic pain or difficulty moving the jaw may affect talking, eating, sleeping and swallowing. This may affect a person's overall sense of well-being.

What Causes Temporomandibular joint disorders?

The most common cause of Temporomandibular disorder symptoms is muscle tension or spasm, often triggered by stress and/or night grinding of the teeth (bruxism). Also an injury to the jaw, temporomandibular joint, or muscles of the head and neck – such as from a heavy blow or whiplash – can cause TMJ.

Other possible causes include: An injury to the joint or the tissues around it. Problems with how the joint is shaped. Joint diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or arthrosis.

How is a Temporomandibular disorder diagnosed?

At Cisne Dental we conduct a careful patient history and physical examination to determine the cause of your symptoms. In some cases, an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI is also used to check for bone or soft tissue problems related to symptoms of TMJ disorder. Treatment is usually non-surgical in nature and may include the use of a relaxation splint, physiotherapy and medication.