Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction – All You Need to Know

The temporomandibular joint is a condylar type of hinge joint which connects the jaw to the temporal bone of the skull. This joint helps you move your jaw up and down and sideways, thus enabling our daily movements of talking and chewing. 

Temporomandibular joint disorders or dysfunction occur when the ligaments or muscles surrounding the joint become inflamed or irritated. This can cause pain in this joint as well as in the muscles which are responsible for jaw movement. 

You may consult an orthodontist in Morrisville, NC, to know more about this disorder and its treatments.

Symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction can often cause severe pain and discomfort. It is necessary to consult a dentist if you face any of these symptoms:

  • Pain or tenderness in the jaw, jaw joints, face, neck, shoulders, and around the ears, especially when chewing or speaking
  • Headaches or earaches 
  • Difficulty or pain in chewing
  • Feel like your “bite” is misaligned. The bite is the way your upper and lower jaw come together.
  • The jaw gets stuck or “locking” when open or close
  • Swelling in your face, especially on the side of your face 
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Difficulty in opening the mouth wide
  • Clicking or grating sounds when you chew or open and close your mouth.

How can temporomandibular joint disorders be treated?

Experts recommend surgery as the last option for these disorders drawing room furniture. Your dentist may suggest some home remedies to deal with the pain and inflammation:

  • Application of heat and cold packs 
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications to manage the pain, inflammation, and anxiety.
  • Eating soft food
  • Avoid sudden and jerky jaw movements 
  • Consider physical therapy 
  • Adopt good posture practices to reduce the strain on your neck and face 

In case home remedies do not help, your dentist may recommend surgery. Surgery for the temporomandibular joint disorder are of three types:

 

  • Arthrocentesis 

 

This procedure is usually recommended for those who experience sudden jaw locking console table. The surgeon injects sterile fluid into the affected joint and washes it out. This can also help reduce inflammation caused due to the disorder.

 

  • Arthroscopy 

 

This procedure is done with an arthroscope, an instrument inserted into an incision made near the ear. The arthroscope has a lens and a light and can send images of the affected area to the surgeon. After examination, the surgeon may remove the inflamed tissue or realign the joint or disc. 

 

  • Open-joint surgery

 

If further complications make arthroscopy impossible, your surgeon will perform an open-joint surgery. This is a traditional surgery where the affected area is opened and treated accordingly.