The temporomandibular joint connects your jaws to your skull. There is a joint each on each side of the ear. Any pain or disorder with this joint is referred to as TMJ disorder. The exact cause of a person's TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine. Your pain may be due to a combination of factors, such as genetics, arthritis or jaw injury.
HOW IS TMJ DISORDERS DIAGNOSED?
Pain is the most common reason for people with TMD to seek medical advice. Joint noises may require auscultation with a stethoscope to detect. Clicks of the joint may also be palpated, over the joint itself in the preauricular region, or via a finger inserted in the external acoustic meatus, which lies directly behind the TMJ. The differential diagnosis is with degenerative joint disease (e.g. osteoarthritis), rheumatoid arthritis, temporal arteritis, otitis media, parotitis, mandibular osteomyelitis, Eagle syndrome, trigeminal neuralgia, oromandibular dystonia,[medical citation needed] deafferentation pains, and psychogenic pain
HOW IS TMJ DISORDERS TREATED?
The various treatments may include the following:
• Dental splint (occlusal splint or stabilization splint or bite guard), which is a dental appliance placed in the mouth that keeps the teeth in alignment and prevents tooth grinding.
• Botox may be used to relax the muscles of the jaw.
• Physical therapy with jaw exercises can strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and range of motion.
• Biobehavioral management (biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT]) may help diminish pain intensity.
• Trigger point acupuncture can sometimes be helpful.
• In severe cases, surgery on the jaw or dental surgery may be necessary.
DID YOU KNOW?
Physical therapy including ultrasound, moist heat and ice coupled with exercises to stretch and strengthen jaw muscles has proved to be beneficial for person suffering from TMJ disorder