Having facial or jaw pain spreading to the neck or shoulders? Suffering from ear pain like ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or hearing loss? Hear sounds when the joints move such as clicking, grating, and popping. Or your mouth is swelling on a single side? Jaw locking in a wide open position (Indicating that it is dislocated), or it may not open fully at all? Difficulty in swallowing?
Having a headache and dizziness that is leading to vomit or nausea?
Finally, you get to know about this surprising reason and how it can be treated.
It is called “TMJ Syndrome” (Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome) and it has many causes such as:
- Trauma is divided into Microtrauma and Macrotrauma.
– Microtrauma is internal. Grinding the teeth (Bruxism) and clenching (jaw tightening). Hammering on the temporomandibular joint change the alignment of the teeth. If muscles get involved it causes inflammation of the membranes surrounding the joint. Rubbing and pressing on your teeth are habits that may be diagnosed in people who have pain in the temporomandibular joint or have facial pain that includes the muscles involved in chewing.
– Macrotrauma is an impact accident. Can break the jawbone. cause dislocation of the TMJ. Damage the cartilage disc of the joint. Pain in the TMJ can be brought on by dental work whereby the joint is stretched open for extended periods of time. Massage and heat application can be helpful after the dental procedure.
- Osteoarthritis: The jaw joint is prone to arthritic changes. These changes are sometimes caused by a breakdown of the joint or the usual wear and tear of normal aging. The degenerative joint disease causes a slowly progressive loss of cartilage and formation of new bone at the surface of the joint. Cartilage destruction is a result of several mechanical and biological factors rather than a single entity. Its prevalence increases with repetitive microtrauma or macrotrauma. As well as with normal aging immunologic and inflammatory diseases contribute to the progression of the disease.
- Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation in joints and could affect the TMJ. As it progresses. The disease can cause a destruction of cartilage, erode bone, and eventually cause joint deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. It causes disease in a variety of organs with features of persistent joint inflammation. It occasionally affects the TMJ, especially in young children.
- Other causes of TMJ syndrome include infection of the joint, cancer, and bone deformity that occurs at birth.
TMJ has many treatment options. For chronic TMJ syndrome includes a dentist, ENT surgeon, pain specialist, physiotherapist, and a primary care physician. Modalities used to relieve pain and restore the function of the TMJ may include the use of splints, physical therapy, psychological counseling, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, and arthrocentesis.While treating bruxism, the doctor may fit you with a splint or bite plate which is a plastic guard that fits over your upper or lower teeth, much like a mouth guard in sports. It can help reduce clenching and teeth grinding, especially if worn while sleeping. This will ease muscle tension. The splint should not increase your pain and if it does, do not use it!
Surgery is never the first choice treatment for TMJ syndrome. Arthrocentesis entails the use of a needle to clean and irrigate the joint. During the procedure, the surgeon may inject a local anesthetic or asteroid into the joint. Arthroscopy surgery is done when there is suspicion of an internal problem with the TMJ. It does require anesthesia and has a high success rate in resolving pain.Anyone with chronic TMJ syndrome is referred for physical therapy that helps restore joint mobility increasing muscle strength, and relieve pain.
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