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What is a Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)?

When you are ever experiencing pain which is near your ear or on the muscles on the side of your face or perhaps your jaw and is accompanied by a popping or clicking sound or restricts that movement of your jaw, you may probably have Temporomandibular Disorders or TMD. Sometimes, there are people who use the term TMJ incorrectly for such problems, because TMJ means as Temporomandibular joint. If you have a TMJ, you probably don’t have TMD.

TMD are different conditions characterized by both dysfunction and pain of the TMJ or muscles which are surrounding it. It’s a challenge to determine the real cause of the symptoms, however most TMD can be resolved solely through conservative remedies that are being recommended by doctors. It is essential that you will do some research on the remedies first before you do anything that’s irreversible such as going through surgery.

There are two TMJs that connects your lower jaw and are known as the mandible to your temporal bone of your skull, which are considered as complex joints that will allow movement on three dimensions. Your temporal bone and your lower jaw works together as a ball and a socket which also have a cushioning disk that’s in between. Large pairs of muscles in your cheeks and in your temples are the ones that will move your lower jaw. You should be aware though that it’s either the joint, disk or the muscles that becomes the source of the problem for TMJ. If you are experiencing pain or perhaps you have difficulties on closing or in opening your jaw, the doctor will implement thorough examinations so that they are able to determine the primary reason of the problem and the doctor will be the one to give suggestions on what are the appropriate remedies.

Just like any other joint, TMJ problems are also causes of orthopedic problems that includes inflammation, sore muscles, disk problems and also on strained tendons. Another addition is that TMD can be passed on through genes, age and gender as well. This may also occur because of physical and psychological stress. In some cases, jaw pain can be related with widespread and pain inducing medical conditions as well.

After your doctor will examine you, they will then come up with an appropriate strategy in treating your condition and in managing your pain. There are instances sometimes with where temporary changes on one’s diet helps to reduce stress on their joints and muscles.

For the severe TMJ cases that are requires the more complex treatment, they may undergo orthodontics, dental restorations or minor procedures in your joint such as flushing your joint or through a cortisone injection. Major surgeries are however rare for cases of TMD, which is why it’s essential that you consider on the different conservative and reversible treatments and give it enough time to work because they are not always effective.

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