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About Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)

Which are the tempromandibular joint (TMJ)?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) comprise the two joints which connect your jaw and your skull. They constitute the joint that move and rotate to the left and right of each ear and comprise the mandible (the lower jaw) and the temporal bone (the side and the base of your skull). The TMJs are one of the most complicated joints of the body. The joints, as well as various muscles, permit mandibles to go both up and down, side-to-side and back and forward. If the mandible and joints are aligned correctly muscles, smooth movements like chewing or talking, yawning and swallowing, occur. If the structures (muscles ligaments, muscles, disk temporal bone, jaw bone) are not aligned and are not synchronized with movement there are a variety of issues that could occur.

What is TMD Disorder?

Temporomandibular conditions (TMD) are conditions of the jaw muscles temporomandibular joints and the nerves that are associated with chronic facial pain. Any issue that hinders the complicated system of bones, muscles and joints from functioning in harmony could cause temporomandibular disorders.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research categorizes TMD as follows:

Myofascial pain. This is the most frequent type of TMD. It can cause pain or discomfort on the facia (connective tissue that covers the muscles) as well as muscles that control the shoulder, neck, and jaw function.

Internal deviation in the joint. This can be caused by a jaw that is dislocated or a disk that is displaced (cushion of cartilage between jaw’s head bone as well as the skull) or injuries on the condyle (the part of the jaw bone which articulates with the temporal bone).

Degenerative joint disease of the joint. This could be osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis of the jaw joint.

You may suffer from any of these conditions simultaneously.

What are the causes of TMD?

In many instances the root reason for this disorder might not be apparent. The most common cause may be over-stress to the joint of the jaw as well as the muscles involved in chewing and swallowing as well as speech. This strain can result from bruxism. It is the regular grinding of teeth. But injury on the jaws, neck or head could result in TMD. Arthritis and displacement of disks in the jaw can result in TMD discomfort. In other instances, another chronic medical issue, like IBS or fibromyalgia could be a factor that can cause or increase the symptoms of TMD. A recent study conducted by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research identified sensory, psychological, clinical genetic, and nervous system variables that could place a person at a higher chance to develop chronic TMD.

What are the symptoms and signs of TMD?

Here are the top frequently reported symptoms and signs of TMD:

Soreness or discomfort in the jaw (often more prevalent in the early morning or in the late afternoon)


Eye pain that is spreading or in the face neck, shoulder, or back

Ringing in the ear (not result of an infection in the ear canal’s inner part)

Popping or clicking of the jaw

The jaw is locked

Mouth movements are limited.

Grinding or clenching of the teeth


Dental sensitivity with no oral health problem

A tingling or numb sensation can be felt in the fingers

A change in how upper and lower teeth are positioned together.

The signs and symptoms of TMD could be similar to those of other medical or other issues. Consult a dentist or doctor to determine the cause.
What are the best treatments for TMD?

Your physician will figure out the most effective treatment based on:

How old are you?

Your general health and medical background

How well are you able to take specific drugs treatments, procedures, or treatments

How long is the condition likely to last?

Your opinion or your preference

Treatment could include:

Resting the temporomandibular joints (TMJ)

Medicines and pain relievers

Techniques for relaxation and strategies for managing stress

Changes in behavior (to decrease or stop teeth from clenching)

Physical therapy

A mouthguard or orthopedic device that is worn inside the mouth (to minimize grinding)

Posture training

Changes in diet (to ease jaw muscles)

Hot packs and ice