TMJ Disorder Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

TMJ Disorder Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Feb 01, 2022

Modern dentistry has developed dramatically in the last few decades to ensure complete treatment of the neck and mouth’s oral cavity and peripheral bones. The dentist near you now specializes in treating various dental issues, from restoration to cosmetic dentistry.

Understanding the Temporomandibular Joint

The temporomandibular joint connects the mandible or lower jaw to the skull. Placed below the ears on either side, the temporomandibular joint is one of the most important joints of the oral cavity and functions like a sliding hinge.

The temporomandibular joint controls the opening and closing of the lower jaw. The mouth’s functionality for chewing or talking depends on the proper movement of the temporomandibular joint.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

The temporomandibular joint disorder is a heterogeneous neuromuscular and musculoskeletal disorder that involves the temporomandibular joints. People from the age of 15 to 40 are more prone to TMJ disorder, and there are various biological, environmental, or social factors contributing to TMJ disorder.

The temporomandibular joint is formed by the mandibular bones inserted into the temporal bone and acts as a sliding hinge, facilitating smooth opening and closure of the lower jaw. TMJ disorder is more common among women than men, and almost 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorder.

Causes of TMJ Disorder

Mostly trauma to the jaws can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder. The temporomandibular joints function by sliding one bone over the other. The bones are connected by a Cartlidge and surrounded by a shock-absorbing disk. Trauma might affect the shock-absorbing disks, damaging the joint. Even a healthy person might develop the TMJ disorder due to certain conditions as:

  • Erosion of the joints
  • Clenching or grinding of the teeth
  • Structural issues of the jaw since birth
  • Arthritis
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of sleep and stress
  • Use of orthodontic braces
  • Poor poster straining the muscles of the neck and face

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

The symptoms of the temporomandibular joint disorder are dependent on the severity of the condition. The most common symptom of the temporomandibular joint is tenderness and pain in the muscles surrounding the jaws and neck. The other symptoms include:

  • Stiffness in the facial muscles
  • Difficulty in moving the lower jaw
  • Locking of the jaws
  • Popping or clicking sound near the temporomandibular joints
  • Malocclusion or change in the alignment of lower and upper jaws
  • Pain in or around the ears

You might also experience a grating sensation on opening the mouth or swallowing the muscles around temporomandibular joints.

Diagnosis of TMJ Disorder

The temporomandibular joint disorder is challenging to diagnose in a single visit to the dentist. There is no standard test to detect temporomandibular joint disorder, and the primary symptoms coincide with a jaw infection.

The Satsuma dentist might start the diagnosis by asking basic questions on the state of the jaws and performing a thorough examination of the oral cavity. X-ray, CT scan, or MRI can be performed to identify the temporomandibular joint disorder and detect the disorder of the bones or joints. Trauma to the jaws might cause TMJ Disorder, and an X-ray can detect the damage.

The dentist might also probably ask you to open and close the mouth and listen to the clicking and popping sound. The range of motion of your jaws observing for swallowing can detect TMJ Disorder too.

Treatment of TMJ Disorder

The temporomandibular joint disorder might go away without treatment if you are lucky. Exercise to relax the tension of facial muscles can help to reduce the pain. You can also practice self-care to treat symptoms of TMJ Disorder as:

  • Eating soft food
  • Applying an ice pack to reduce the inflammation
  • Reduce jaw movement by talking less
  • Reduce stress

When the homely treatments do not yield desired results, you may look for professional TMJ treatment in Satsuma, AL. Prescribed treatments include:

  • Medication to relax the muscles
  • Medicine to reduce pain
  • Medicine to reduce swelling
  • Cognitive behavior to reduce stress
  • Bite guards or stabilizing splints to avoid clenching of teeth

Satsuma Family Dental provides family-friendly dental care and has experience for over 23 years in the field. Apart from TMJ Disorder treatment, we also offer teeth whitening, dentures, dental implants, and treatment for sleep apnea. You may book an appointment to experience our services.

251-679-9428 Book Appointment