What is it?

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are conditions that affect the jaw joint, muscles and ligaments. The TMJ is the joint that connects the lower jawbone to the skull and is found on both sides of the head. When speaking or chewing, the TMJ has to open and close. When the ligaments or muscles around the jaw joint become inflamed or irritated, it results in painful disorders. TMJ disorders are caused due to bruxism, dislocation of the discs in the joint, arthritis, stress, trauma, and improper bite.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- TMJ disorders
- Temporomandibular Adhesions and Ankylosis
- Temporomandibular Joint Sounds
- Temporomandibular Arthralgia

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of TMJ disorders include pain, headache, earache, pain in the shoulder and neck, difficulty opening up the mouth, "locked" jaws, clicking and popping of the joint when the mouth opens and closes, difficulty chewing, swelling, tinnitus and tooth pain.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of TMJ disorders include physical examination and medical history. A dental examination and observation of the joint movement is also done. X-ray may be taken to view the joints.

Treatment

Treatment for TMJ disorders may include heat or cold packs, eating soft food, pain relievers such as NSAIDs, using a splint at night, corrective dental treatments, and ovoid extreme jaw movements. If these conservative treatments fail, other treatments include TENS, ultrasound, trigger point injections, radio wave therapy, botox injections and surgical treatments.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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