TMJ stands for temporo-mandibular joint which is your jaw joint. The temporo-mandibular joint is formed by the mandible or jaw bone, joining with the temporal bone of the skull, just below and in front of the ear. You would have one temporo-mandibular joint on each side of your face. Each joint has a cartilage disc inside keeping the temporal bones and the mandible bone apart from each other to protect them from creating wearing of the bone surfaces as well as to act as shock absorber for the joint. The jaw joint is surrounded by a capsule or envelope enclosing it. The jaw movement is driven by many muscles responsible for its different actions. The TMJ is opened and closed many 1000’s of times each day as we eat, speak, breathe and yawn and is thus the focal point of much activity and physical forces.
The TMJ or jaw is a common area that can be susceptible to injury or sprain causing jaw pain, face pain, aches, neck pain, ear pain, or headaches. This usually occurs as a result of grinding (bruxing) or clenching of the teeth as a result of stress. TMJ can also be a result of dental work or from specific trauma.
Causes of TMJ Disorder (TMD)
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Highlight the cause of your symptoms and pain and making a diagnosis is crucial to successful treatment. Several things will be noted in your initial consultation including any previous incidents or episodes, a thorough examination of your TMJ and surrounding muscles, general posture and your neck joints and muscles, and a look at your current sleeping position and your pillow.
Treatment of Facial Pain
Structures such as joints, muscles, nerves, teeth and sinuses are sources of facial pain. Treatment involves not only treating the structures which are the source of the pain, but also addressing causative factors involved in those structures becoming painful and pain producing in the first place.
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