TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint)
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts as a sliding character that connects your jawbone to your skull. You’ve got one bone on either side of your face. “TMJ,” are a group of conditions that cause jaw joint pain and weakness, and muscles that regulate jaw movement.
TMJ disorders — a type of temporomandibular disorder or TMD — can cause pain in the joints of your jaw and in the muscles that control the movement of your jaw. It is difficult to ascertain the precise cause of a person’s TMJ condition.
A combination of factors such as genetic manipulation, arthritis, or jaw injury may contribute to TMJ causes and pain. Some people who have jaw pain prefer to tighten or grit their teeth (bruxism), while other people harden their teeth or grind their teeth without TMJ disorders.
Several factors contribute to this condition’s muscle tightness and weakness. Whether any of these triggers contribute directly to or emerge out of TMJ syndrome is not clear.
The pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders are transient in most cases and can be treated with self-managed care or non-chirurgical treatments. Surgery is usually the last resort following the failure of conservative interventions, but some people with TMJ disorders can benefit from surgical procedures.
The TMJ causes are numerous. Some known causes include teeth grinding while sleeping which can result in TMJ disorders as well as physical damage, inflammation, grinding or clenching teeth during autoimmune sleeping, or infections of dental surgery. Other causes may be hereditary, hormonal, or environmental.
Violinists have been reported, for example, to experience TMJ disorders at a higher rate than the general population, as their job requires keeping an instrument under the jaw. It can lead to pain, causing TMJ disorders.
While the cause is not precisely understood, researchers hope it will prove useful to investigate the link between the female hormone estrogen and TMJ disorders. Women have been found to develop TMJ disorders at a higher rate than men, and researchers are currently exploring hormonal triggers for TMJ.
TMJ causes severe pain and discomfort. It can be brief, or it can last many years. It can impact one side of your face or both. It occurs more in women than men and it is most popular among people aged 20 to 40 years.
Pain can be radiated to the neck or shoulders in the facial muscles and jaw joints. Joints can be painfully stressed, and muscle spasms can occur.
The pain may occur while speaking, chewing, or yawning. Pain typically occurs in the joint itself, right in front of the ear, or it can travel anywhere on the forehead, scalp, or neck, contributing to headaches, dizziness, and even migraine symptoms.
TMJ syndrome may give rise to ear pain, ear ringing (tinnitus), and hearing loss. People often confuse TMJ pain for an ear problem, like an ear infection, when the ear is not the problem at all. They can produce sounds when the joints shift, such as clicking, grating, or popping. Others could even hear the sounds that click and pop.
It implies that the disk might be in an anomalous position. Occasionally no care is required unless the sounds cause pain. On the affected side, face and mouth can swell. The jaw-lock in a wide-open position (indicating dislocation), or it may not open entirely at all.
The lower jaw can also deviate to one side at the opening. Some people may experience preferring one or the other painful side by opening the jaw unpleasantly. Such shifts can be abrupt.
The teeth might not fit together correctly, and the bite might feel strange. Muscle spasms associated with TMJ syndrome may cause swallowing difficulties. TMJ syndrome can also induce headaches and dizziness, which may result in nausea or vomiting. Many people with TMJ syndrome can have a history of a poor dentition or emotional distress.
The dentists at Dr. Amal’s clinic will inquire about your health records and do a physical test to sort out this condition. They test for discomfort or tenderness in your jaw joints and listen to clicks, pops, or grating sounds as you move them.
They’ll even make sure your jaw works as it should and doesn’t lock your mouth when you open or close.
Plus, they’ll test the bite and look for facial muscle problems. The dentist takes X-rays of full-face so that he/she can see the jaws, temporomandibular joints, and teeth to rule out other issues. Other tests may be needed, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computer tomography (CT).
The MRI shows if the TMJ disk is in the correct position when your jaw is moving. A CT scan shows the joint’s bony detail.
For further diagnosis and treatment, you can be referred to an oral surgeon at Dr. Amal AlQedrah Medical Centre. The doctor specializes in surgery and can determine TMJ causes leading to the entire area of the nose, mouth, and jaw.
Occasional pain is standard in the jaw joint or chewing muscles, and may not be a cause of concern. See the best doctor at Dr. Amal AlQedrah Medical Center Sharjah if you have severe pain, or if it doesn’t go away.
If it hurts to open and close the mouth, or if you have trouble swallowing food, you can also see Dr. Amal’s clinic healthcare professionals who will analyze TMJ causes and provide satisfactory results and treatment.
Experts strongly advocate using the most reversible, restrictive therapies available. Conservative procedures should not penetrate, or require surgery to the eye, lip, or joint tissues.
Reversible treatments do not cause the shape or location of the jaw or teeth to change permanently. Most patients often do not require severe forms of care, even though TMJ conditions have become chronic.
Because most common jaw joint and muscle problems are acute and gradually get worse, a quick procedure can be all that is needed to alleviate discomfort. If the jaw is open or closed, go to the Emergency Room in any nearby hospital.
The open locked jaw is handled by having the right amount of sedation. The maxilla (upper jaw) is then protected with thumbs, while the mandible (lower jaw) is pulled downward, forward, and backward.
This technique is typically performed by a doctor from the Emergency Department or a specialist in ear, nose, and throat (ENT). Sometimes, the closed locked jaw is handled by sedating you until you’re fully relaxed. Afterwards, the mandible is squeezed softly until the mouth is opened.
Short-term use of over-the-counter pain medications or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, use of upper or lower teeth support splint or bite guard may provide relief.
When a stabilization splint is recommended, it can only be used for a brief period, and should not cause lasting bite changes. Studies of their effectiveness in delivering pain relief are inconclusive.
Surgical treatments are problematic, often irreversible, and, where possible, should be avoided. Long-term clinical trials have not been performed to test the safety and efficacy of the TMJ condition surgical treatments.
Moreover, surgical replacement of jaw joints with artificial implants can cause severe pain and permanent damage to the jaw. Many of these tools may fail to operate appropriately or can fall apart over time in the jaw.
TMJ causes are, in most cases, self-limiting. Some of the signs can resolve in two weeks after the jaw rests. There are several treatment options at home for TMJ syndrome.
Anti-inflammatory and pain-related medications such as aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) may aid. Change your diet to include soft food only. Do not chew gum or eat hard candy or chewy foods. Do not get your mouth wide open.
Your doctor may teach you how to conduct gentle muscle stretching and exercises for relaxation. The methods of stress management will help you control tension and relax your jaw along with the rest of your body. Apply warm compresses to the pain area.
Home rehabilitation requires movement of the mandible (lower jaw), such as opening and closing the jaw from side to side. Do this after a 20-minute warm compress is applied. The smaller jaw movements should be repeated for around two to four weeks, three to five times a day, and five minutes continuously each time. Even a gentle massage of the area can be helpful.
Prognosis for TMJ
Overall, the forecast for TMJ syndrome is definite. There are various TMJ causes, and if understood, the outlook is based upon the cause. Most people may use self-care and home remedies to handle the pain. Long-term TMJ syndrome symptoms include chronic facial pain or persistent headaches.
Long-term care may be appropriate in extreme cases, where the pain is chronic, or associated with other inflammatory disorders.
Preventing signs of TMJ syndrome can also be done by self-care at home, such as eating soft food; avoiding chewing gum; maintaining proper posture; applying stress management and calming techniques; using dental splint equipment as prescribed by a jaw care professional; using correct protective gear to prevent jaw fractures and dislocations when exercising.
Why Dr. Amal AlQedrah Medical Center Sharjah?
Our team leaders work together to fix the TMJ condition systematically, including complicated problems. Dr. Amal AlQedrah Medical Center’s specialty team comprises, where appropriate, of a dentist, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, a pain management specialist, and others who work together.
Our physicians can provide a range of comprehensive medical treatment and care options for TMJ conditions, including medication, rehabilitation, and surgery.
Operation on the temporomandibular joint is uncommon, but when appropriate, the oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Dr. Amal AlQedrah Medical Center have extensive experience in the full range of TMJ surgical procedures, from arthroscopic surgery to open-joint surgery.