TMJ disorders – Symptoms and causes

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There are many cases when we have a headache and we do not think that the hjaw can be cause for it but the TMJ can be the culprit. TMJ is shortcut for temporomandibular joint and it is acting like a sliding hinge which is connecting your jawbone to the skull. It is allowing to us to do things, such as chew, laugh and talk and it enables the jaw to move up and down and side to side. We have one joint on each side of the jaw. This joint is a bit more complicated than other joints in the body and it can cause many different symptoms and headaches are also included in it. The TMJ disorder can cause a pain in the jaw joint and in the muscles which control the jaw movement. The TMJ disorder is a type of temporomandibular disorder. In many cases, the exact cause for TMJ disorder is difficult to determine. The pain can be caused by a combination of factors, such as jaw injury, arthritis and genetics. Some people who have jaw pain tend to grind or clench their teeth but there are many people who grind or clench their teeth as a habit and they never develop TMJ disorders. It is known that in the most cases, the discomfort and pain which are linked with the TMJ disorder is temporary and it can be relieved with nonsurgical treatments or self – managed care. If the conservative measures have failed, then the surgery is the last resort but some people who have TMJ disorders can benefit from the surgical treatment. The TMJ pain has been reported in one in ten people and the TMD has been reported in almost half of the population in the United States of America. There is no specific statistics about the TMJ headaches because it is hard to make a difference between the TMJ headaches and general headaches. The TMJ headache can result from the TMJ issues related to osteoporosis, joint hypermobility and osteoarthritis. You should avoid hard or chewy foods because this can worsen the pain of TMJ. Also you should reduce the stressful situations because this can help to prevent coping behaviors, such as jaw clenching. Always talk with your doctor before you start using some home remedies or medications for this condition.

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TMJ symptoms

Here are some signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders:

  • Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close mouth
  • Aching facial pain
  • Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
  • Aching pain in and around your ear
  • A clicking noise in the jaw
  • You can have a pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
  • Restricted movement of the jaw
  • Pain or tenderness of your jaw
  • Changes in your bite

The TMJ disorder can cause a clicking sound or grating sensation when you chew or open your mouth. If there is not a pain or limitation of movement which is associated with your jaw clicking, then you may not need a treatment for the TMJ disorder. If you have a persistent pain or tenderness in your jaw, then you should talk with your doctor. Also you should talk with your doctor if you cannot open or close your jaw completely. Your dentist, your doctor or a TMJ specialist can tell you which is the cause for your condition and he or she will give you the right treatment. You can practice jaw exercises because this can help you to relax your muscles and it will give you a relief from the symptoms.

TMJ causes

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is combining sliding motions with a hinge action. We know that the parts of the bones which interact in the joint are covered with cartilage and they are separated by a small shock – absorbing disk which is normally keeping the movement smooth. The painful TMJ disorders can happen if:

  • The joint is damaged by a blow or other impact
  • The joint’s cartilage is damaged by arthritis
  • The disk erodes or moves out of its proper alignment

There are many cases when the cause for TMJ disorder is not known.

TMJ risk factors

Here are some factors which can increase your risk of developing TMJ disorders:

  • Certain connective tissue diseases that cause problems which may affect the temporomandibualr joint
  • Long – term (chronic) grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Jaw injury
  • Various types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis

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