Everything About TMJ Disorders

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The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a sliding synovial hinge-type joint secures your lower jaw ends in the skull, allowing it to hang one and shut close. On each end, the lower jaw bone, also known as the mandible bone, is hinged from both sides to the temporal bone of the skull, which led to the name of this joint. Since it is part of the entire jaw structure, TMJ disorders are treated by dentists and are associated with other dental problems. 

Apart from the bone joint, the TMJ is held by several muscles and other soft tissues, which can cause pain and discomfort if strained excessively. Any dental problem caused due to the straining or degradation of these muscles and bones is termed as a TMJ disorder. These problems generally cause difficulty in chewing, biting, speaking, laughing, or making facial expressions.

Causes Of TMJ Disorders:

Some of the common causes of TMJ disorders include:

  • Habitually clenching or grinding your jaw can strain the soft tissues near TMJ and lead to several discomforting problems. 

  • Different types of arthritis-related issues

  • An external impact injury to the jaw

  • Hormonal changes in the body

  • Certain dental treatments where the oral soft tissues are incised

  • Infections and auto-immune diseases

Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorders:

Persisting pain is an early sign of TMJ disorders, which is common in almost everyone. While in some cases, patients reported noticeable dysfunction of the jaw without any pain. Other observed symptoms included:

  • Pain, ringing or strain felt in the ears along with diminished hearing

  • Stiffness in jaw muscles causing limited movement or locking of the jaw 

  • Unintended mispositioning of the jaw while chewing

  • Popping. Clicking or grating sounds while moving the jaw

  • Sensitivity in teeth

  • Feeling dizzy or unable to see clearly

Treating TMJ Disorders:

Most of the symptoms and discomfort caused by these disorders are temporary and don’t need any surgical intervention. Occasional jaw pain and stiffness lasts for a few weeks and disappears on its own. In case the symptoms are severe, you can visit your dentist and consult for any of the following treatment methods:

  • Apply hot or cold compresses over the aching region

  • Taking a course of over-the-counter pain medications 

  • Performing jaw stretching and relaxation exercises

  • Using dental stabilization splints such as a biteplate and a nightguard at prescribed times of the day

Some TMJ symptoms such as chronic pain and dysfunction of the jaw can be a sign of other significant disorders and can only be diagnosed by an experienced dentist who can also direct you to other specialists when needed. At Oswal Dental Care, we treat such TMJ disorders frequently, and we always recommend never to avoid these symptoms. Being a leading oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Pune, our head dentists specialize in providing prompt and personalized treatment for all oral problems. If you wish to consult the top dental doctors in Pune, visit the Oswal Dental Care website and reach out to us.

Dr. Nitin Oswal
Dr. Nitin Oswal
Dr. Nitin Oswal completed his B.D.S. from Bharati Vidyapeeth Dental College & Hospital, Pune in 2003 & M.D.S. in the field of Oral & Maxillofacial surgery from Dr. D. Y. Patil Dental College & Hospital, Pune ( Pune University) in 2008. He has a practice restricted to Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and is a consultant at Sahyadri hospital, Inamdar hospital & Ranka hospital.
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