What is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction?
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is a pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the joint connecting the jawbone to the skull. It can affect both sides of your face, and a number of different things can cause it. If you have Springfield TMJ, you may experience pain when opening or closing your mouth. Your jaw muscles will also become stiffer, and you may find it difficult to chew, especially if you eat crunchy foods or drink hard candies.
Because a number of different things can cause this type of pain, it is essential to see your dentist as soon as possible if you experience temporomandibular joint pain.
What causes temporomandibular joint dysfunction?
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction can be caused by many things, including:
Dental diseases or conditions
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction can cause pain and click in the jawbone joints. In some cases, it can be caused by an injury to one of the jawbone joints. Dental disease is a broad term used to describe any health problem that develops in your mouth because of how your teeth and gums function. This includes gum disease, tooth loss, bone loss, and changes in bone structure. It also includes periodontal gum infections, which are caused by bacteria that live on your teeth.
TMJ disorders such as arthritis and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)
A TMJ disorder is an inflammation in the joints of your jawbones or other tissues around them. There are many different types of TMJ disorders, including osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and ankylosing spondylitis (AS). OA is the most common type, which occurs when cartilage wears away due to aging or conditions such as RA or AS.
The cartilage of the joints wears away over time through regular use and aging. This can cause the joints to become stiffer and less able to move easily. As the cartilage wears down, it becomes more rigid and may cause pain in the affected area.
Oral cancer can spread to the temporomandibular joints if detected early enough and treated effectively with surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
How is temporomandibular joint dysfunction treated?
TMJ disorder treatment is based on the type and severity of symptoms. The goal of treatment is to manage pain, restore chewing function, and increase jaw motion.
Most people with temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) can manage their symptoms with conservative care, but some may require surgery or oral appliances to improve their condition.
Conservative Care for TMD
Conservative treatment for TMD includes rest, ice packs, massage therapy, and medications to relieve pain and inflammation. Speech therapy may also be recommended to improve your ability to speak and eat.
Antibiotics may help reduce swelling in your joints and decrease pain caused by TMJ disorders such as TMD or facial nerve trauma that causes numbness or tingling in your face or lips. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if you develop a sinus infection that causes headaches and facial pain or if you have an ear infection that causes ear pain.
The treatment for TMD usually involves a combination of physical therapy, rest, and prescription medications to reduce pain and inflammation. The best course of action is to schedule an appointment with a dentist from Advantage Dental Care following an injury.