The temporomandibular joint is the joint which connects the jaw to the skull. It connects the skull and mandible and therefore its location makes it a vulnerable point. It causes a lot of pain when it gets inflamed. Symptom of such pain varies from patient to patient. Let us take a look at the disorder thoroughly.
The TMJ syndrome or the temporomandibular joint pain disorder is a complex problem as the mandible, skull, nerves and bones are all involved together at the point. Any injury or damage can cause a lot of pain for the body and make it more complex. This disorder is mostly associated with activities of the jaw and related habits.
A little grinding or chewing can trigger the pain and lead to the dysfunction. Anatomical factors, like a faulty jaw alignment, can also be responsible for such ailment, or an injury quite impactful on the jaw line may result in this disorder. Chronic stress can also cause such pain. Other causes include spasm of neck region and trauma. To get rid of the issue, one must visit a TMJ specialist.
• The front part of the tragus of the ear might experience jaw pain.
• Jaw pain when eating or yawning.
• Jaw popping or clicking sound when chewing or eating.
• Excessive backache, headache and vertigo.
• Stiffness of the shoulder muscles.
• Stretching the jaws causes immense pain and one cannot open the mouth properly.
• Most of the pain occurs during period of inactivity and rest especially during morning hours.
How can it get treated?
• The first and foremost treatment will include pain management. It is the primary line of treatment before even getting it diagnosed.
• Acetaminophens and aspirin can be taken to reduce the pain.
• Steroids, muscle relaxants and tranquilizers can also be prescribed in case of acute pain to reduce inflammation and severity of pain.
• It can be treated in two weeks if the pain is not severe.
• Patients are advised to stop eating hard food during the treatment in order to lower the pressure on bones.
• Cold packs with jaw rest can also help relieve pain.
• Occlusal splints can also be used for the treatment when misalignment of teeth is related to the cause.
• Relaxation exercises can also be prescribed to ease the pain.
Biofeedback headbands are devices which help sensing the action of clenched teeth through electromyography. It helps monitor movement of the muscles involved in chewing or eating or grinding through teeth. Bio feedback headbands can also be used for correction of para functional jaw habits. Therefore, there can be many underlying causes of the disorder and it should be treated accordingly.