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?
During the physical exam, doctor or dentist will probably:
• Listen to and feel jaw when one open and close mouth
• Observe the range of motion in jaw
• Press on areas around jaw to identify sites of pain or discomfort
If doctor or dentist suspects a problem with teeth, one may need dental X-rays. A CT scan can provide detailed images of the bones involved in the joint, and MRIs can reveal problems with the joint's disk.
TMJ arthroscopy is sometimes used in the diagnosis of a TMJ disorder. During TMJ arthroscopy, doctor inserts a small thin tube (cannula) into the joint space, and a small camera (arthroscope) is then inserted to view the area and to help determine a diagnosis.
HOW IS TMJ DISORDERS TREATED?
Treatment of TMJ disorders include night splint or guard for support. Hot and cold packs and NSAIDS are suggested.
DID YOU KNOW?
A change in diet is suggested and you would be asked to eat softer foods and avoid talking and moving the jaws to much.