The temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to your skull’s temporal bones, which are located in front of each ear. It allows you to move your jaw up and down as well as side to side, allowing you to talk, chew, and yawn. If you have persistent pain in your ear, jaw, or the muscles on the side of your face, possibly accompanied by a clicking or popping sound or restricted jaw mobility, you may have TMD, which is an abbreviation for Temporomandibular disorders.
The temporomandibular joint has a hinge action as well as sliding motions. The cartilage-covered sections of the bones that interact in the joint are separated by a tiny shock-absorbing disc, which generally makes the movement smooth. TMJ disorders can be painful if:
- The disc erodes or shifts out of alignment.
- Arthritis damages the cartilage in the joint.
A blow or other impact causes injury to the joint.
What Are the Symptoms?
Common signs include:
- When you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide, you may experience pain or tenderness in your face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around your ear.
- When you try to open your mouth wide, you will encounter difficulties.
- Jaws that become “stuck” or “lock” in an open or closed position
- When you open or close your mouth or chew, you may hear a clicking, cracking, or grating sound in your jaw joint. This could be painful or not.
- You have a fatigued look on your face.
- Chewing difficulty or a sudden unpleasant bite, as though the upper and lower teeth are not properly aligned.
- Your face is swollen on one side.
Treatment & Medications
- Anti-inflammatories and pain relievers- If over-the-counter pain relievers aren’t enough to ease TMJ pain, our doctor or dentist may prescribe stronger pain relievers.
- Tricyclic antidepressants- These are a type of antidepressant. These drugs, such as amitriptyline, are generally used to treat depression, but in low doses, they can also be used to treat pain, bruxism, and sleeplessness.
- Relaxants for the muscles– These medications are occasionally used for a few days or weeks to assist reduce discomfort caused by TMJ issues caused by muscular spasms.
- Arthrocentesis- Arthrocentesis is a minimally invasive treatment in which tiny needles are inserted into the joint to allow fluid to be irrigated through the joint to remove debris and inflammatory byproducts.
- Injections- Corticosteroid injections into the joint may be beneficial in some cases. In rare cases, injecting botulinum toxin type A (Botox, among others) into the chewing muscles may reduce pain associated with TMJ issues.
- Arthroscopy – In some circumstances, arthroscopic surgery can be just as beneficial as open-joint surgery in treating various forms of TMJ issues. A short, thin tube is introduced into the joint space, followed by an arthroscope and small surgical instruments. TMJ arthroscopy offers fewer risks and problems than open-joint surgery, but it also has significant limits.
We hope that this blog has provided you with all of the knowledge you need about temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). So, if you’re searching for the best temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) therapy in Sun Prairie, WI, visit Thousand Oaks Dentistry without any delay.