The temporomandibular joint or the TMJ is a joint in your skull that keeps your jaws connected to your skull as well as help you check if the jaws are working fine. There could be times when you experience unbearable pain in this joint (TMJ disorders). This is usually the case when you have other dental issues. The exact cause of the pain is not clear but it could be due to genetics, arthritis or jaw injury.
HOW IS TMJ DIAGNOSED?
During the physical exam, the doctor or dentist will probably listen to and feel the jaw when you open and close your mouth, observe the range of motion in the jaw and press on areas around the jaw to identify sites of pain or discomfort. The doctor 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.
HOW IS TMJ TREATED?
In most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ is temporary and can be relieved with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatments. Surgery is typically a last resort after conservative measures have failed, but some people with TMJ disorders may benefit from surgical treatments.
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