Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)
Your temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. It lets you move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn. Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). But you may hear it sometimes called TMJ, (TMJ is an acronym) that stands for temporomandibular joint.
Tempomandibular joint syndrome is a disorder of the jaw muscles and nerves caused by injury or inflammation to the tempomandibular joint. The tempomandibular joint is the connection between the jawbone and the skull.
What are the main causes of TMD?
Grinding or clenching your teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the joint. Movement of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket of the joint. Arthritis in the joint. Stress, which can cause you to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth.
Minor TMJ discomfort will usually go away without treatement. However, anyone with the following TMJ symptoms should consider an evaluation to prevent or avoid future issues: constant or repeated episodes of pain or tenderness at the TMJ or in and around the ear. Discomfort or pain while chewing.
What are the TMD symptomes and signs?
The main TMD symptome is pain in the jaw joint. This joint is located just in front of the ear and pain associated with TMD may involve the face, eye, forehead, ear or neck. Signs and symptoms of tempomandibular joint dysfunction include the following:
• Pain in the jaw, espacially at the area of the joint
• Popping, clicking of the jaw (crepitus)
• Headache, incl. migraine
• Blurred vision
• Dizziness, vertigo
• Ringing sound in the ear (tinnitus)
• Tight, stiff or sore jaw or neck muscles
• Muscle spasms (jaw, neck)
• Facial pain
• Shoulder pain
How do healthcare professionals diagnose TMJ syndrome?
A health care professional will diagnose TMD by taking the patient's medical history and doing a physical exam to find the cause of the symptoms and may send the patient to an oral and maxillofacial specialist, an otolaryngologist or a dentist to confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes a health care professional may order an MRI to detect damage to the catrilage of the jaw joint and to rule out other emdical problems.
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