What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints, the small hinges that connect the jaw to the skull. Various factors can cause the TMJ joints to become misaligned, including jaw injury, stress, teeth grinding, osteoarthritis, poor posture, and bad oral habits such as nail biting.
When the TMJs do not function properly because of a misalignment, the surrounding muscles work overtime, which irritates associated nerves. This causes pain that can range from headaches and migraines to earaches and pain in the mouth, neck, shoulders, and even the lower back.
Some patients also experience bruxism, which is the habit of unconsciously grinding and clenching the teeth. Others report popping or clicking jaws and an inability to fully open the mouth.
Temporomandibular Joint syndrome is pain in the jaw joint. Temporomandibular Joint syndrome is also known as Temporomandibular Joint disorder.
Temporomandibular Joint connects the low jaw (mandible) to the skull (temporal bone) in front of the ear. There are two Temporomandibular Joints on each side of the jaw and it comprises of muscles, blood vessels, nerves and bones
Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint disorder are facial pain, ear pain, headaches, neck pain, problems in biting, and jaw clicking sounds.
Also referred as teeth grinding or teeth clenching. It wears down tithe ligament lining of the emporomandibular Joint causing severe head and neck pains.
Caused due to misalignment of teeth or irregularities in the shape of the teeth. Therefore leading to bite problems.
Such as accidents, contact sports or previous fractures
One of the most common reasons that leads to bruxism, eventually results in headaches, ear pains and neck pains.
Habitual acts such as finger nail biting and gum chewing.
Treatment Options For Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
- Correction of bite abnormalities though orthodontic treatments
- Mouth guards (acrylic appliances) to eliminate teeth grinding
- Use of splinters or bite plates for short period
- Stretch and relax exercises for jaw rest
- Stress management
- Laser Pain Therapy
Bruxism is a condition in which people grinds or clenches teeth. This may be a conscious activity during the day but it creates a larger problem while you grind your teeth at night while sleeping. However, severe bruxism leads to temporomandibular Joint disorders causing headaches, ear pains and neck pains.
It is important to seek assistance and consult your dentist to receive treatment before it damages the teeth and cause other problems. Night guards and splints are two common treatments to protect teeth from wear and prevent temporomandibular Joint disorder. These are removable dental appliances moulded to fit the patient’s upper or lower teeth.
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