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  • Writer's pictureJo Goh

TMJ Disorders what is it? And what causes it

Have you ever had mild to extreme jaw pains? Secretly grind or clench your jaw without evening knowing it? Or perhaps you have a splint that you broke in your sleep and disappeared somehow. No? Ok that's just one of my past clients. Pain while chewing? Or maybe an uncomfortable feeling of difficulty while closing and opening your mouth?

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the part that connects your lower jaw to your skull. It is the joint that lets you open and close your jaw. It can be found on both sides of your jaw, specifically, in front of your ears. Meanwhile, TMJ Disorders or temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is when you feel some sort of pain from the muscles that control the movement from your jaw or TMJ pain.

What Causes TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint uses sliding and hinge-like motions. There are also a lot of other health conditions that may be connected to the forming of TMJ disorders and jaw pain, some of the included are:

  • Improper alignment from joint deterioration or repeated grinding and clenching of the teeth.

  • Damage or injury on the specified joint or some other impact.

  • Erosion or deterioration of the joint.

  • Arthritis causing damages to the joint’s cartilage.

  • Jaw problems from birth.

What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of TMJ disorder may depend on the gravity and cause of the condition. The typical sign and TMJ disorder symptoms include:

  • Pain in the jaw and the surrounding muscles.

  • Pain from one or both of the temporomandibular joints.

  • Aching pain felt in the face, neck, or in and around your ear.

  • Firmness in the muscles of your jaw.

  • Difficulty or pain in chewing and limited movement in the jaw.

  • Locking of the jaw.

  • Popping or clicking sounds and grating sensations when you open your mouth or chew from the TMJ area.

  • Changing the way the upper and lower teeth align/repositioning in the jaw.

Does TMJ/ Jaw Treatment Work?

In some cases, TMJ disorders may be easily treated with self-aid treatment at home. If your symptoms persist, consult your doctor, he may recommend a variety of treatment methods. More extreme treatments can include botox injections to help with aching and bruxism (clench, grinding).

If your case does not seem severe, there are easy practices that may help on the treatment such as:

  • Avoiding chewing gums or tough foods.

  • Do some jaw exercises and stretches that may help with jaw movement.

  • Use ice to reduce swelling.

  • Avoid unnecessary jaw movements like repeatedly dislocating jaw on purpose.

  • Eating soft foods.

You may need the help of your doctor or some medications if your symptoms have not improved. The following medications may be prescribed by your doctor:

  • Pain-relievers and anti-inflammatories for sore jaw.

  • Tricyclic antidepressants.

  • Muscle relaxants.

If the previous treatments as well as manual therapy do not solve the problem, you may consult your doctor or dentist about more serious intervention like splints, and or botox. You’ll want to refer to all treatments before considering something like surgery.

Benefits of Getting TMJ and Jaw Treatments?

A lot of people suffer from this problem but thanks to the offered manual treatments like intra oral releases through the mouth, massage of the jaw muscles, dry needling with Mojotherapy offer; they can help with your issue.

The benefits from getting TMJ treatments include:

  • Eases the pain while chewing or moving jaw

  • Reducing the risks and damages of extended neck and jaw strain and pain

  • Reduced ear pain or headaches

  • Enjoy eating with less impediment or discomfort

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