TMJ

Joint and Facial Pain (TMJ/TMD)

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a multifaceted disorder that effects the coordination between the muscles, nerves, and ligaments surrounding the jaw joints on either side of the head. This disorder can be linked to a myriad of other health conditions including posteral changes, sleep issues and certain digestive disorders. The exact causes of TMD are not always known but may include:

 

  • TMJ disc erosion
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Misaligned bite
  • Arthritis
  • Trauma

Many people with TMJ/TMD experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Grinding noises when chewing
  • Clicking or popping noises when opening and closing the mouth
  • Difficulties opening the mouth/lockjaw
  • Swelling around the jaw joint
  • Pain or tenderness in the jaw
  • Migraine headaches
  • Toothaches
  • Ear pain without the presence of infection or ringing in the ears
  • General facial pains or aches
  • Sinus pain
  • Neck, shoulder and backaches
  • Tingling muscles, neck, fingers

TMJ/TMD is commonly misdiagnosed because symptoms do not always clearly point to the jaw joint. If left untreated it may eventually result in more severe systemic health conditions. Overlooked or misdiagnosed TMD may lead to a reliance on pain medications or therapies that may only temporarily alleviate symptoms, but cannot prevent their reoccurrence. The only way to prevent the reoccurrence of TMD symptoms is by addressing the underlying problem, which is the goal of TMD treatment.

 

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