TMJ WebSite

TMJ Disorder:
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder and this causes pain and impairment of the jaw movement. It is located where the lower jaw meets the skull. On account of its proximity to the ears, set of teeth, the muscles, nerves, ligaments and bones that are involved with the issue, each one of them should be separately tackled to reach a conclusive analysis of the cause and effect of the actual disorder.


What Causes The TMJ Disorder?


Incidentally, researchers are still not very sure whether tinnitus causes TMJ or vice versa. As a matter of fact, the nerves that serve the middle ear bones are also connected to the temporomandibular joint and hence their relationship with each other cannot be overlooked. To be more precise, a ligament (known as Pinto’s Ligament) adjoining the TMJ with the smaller bones within the mid ear causing Otomandibular Syndrome has come under the research of Dr. Harold Arlan, MD, Otolaryngology Surgery’s Assistant Clinical Professor at the Medicine College and Dentistry of New Jersey and Rudkers Medical School.


However, the TMJ syndrome can also be caused due to chronic or severe inflammation of the temporomandibular joint. Some individuals when under stress are in the habit of grinding/ clenching of their teeth and this is medically termed as bruxism. In these cases, the canines and incisors of the opposing arches are set against each other crossways with a side-to-side action by the medial pterygoid muscles that remain in the middle of the temporomandibular joints bilaterally, giving rise to TMJ.


It may therefore be prudent to examine several health-care issues that include neuro-muscular aberration, dentistry, traumatic deformation, neurology, psychology as well as congenital malformation of the jaw bone since the TMJ treatment approach would depend greatly on these factors. Even though pain in the ears linked with the swelling of the proximal tissue can be a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder, pain arising from the impacted 3rd molar is sometimes mistakenly associated with TMJ.


TMJ Symptoms


The symptoms associated with TMJ include biting and/or chewing difficulty, clicking, grating or popping noise during opening or closing of the mouth, tenderness in the jaw, ear ache, headache and trismus that often causes lock jaw or other forms of jaw movement problems. In milder forms, there is a clicking or popping sound. The common causes include using too much of chewing gum, nail biting habit and constant clenching. However, for many people, the symptoms occur only occasionally while they do not last long. But for those that have developed TMJ due to trauma or other related incidents, surgery may become essential for correcting the fault.


Studies have revealed that Para functional habits as well as dis-alignment of the jaw that gives rise to unusually forceful jaw opening and lateral or sideway sliding of the jaw as also protrusive (forward) movement of the jaw are mostly related to the following circumstances.


  • Dis-alignment of the occlusal surface of the teeth which again is caused by congenital dental defect.
  • Trauma, recently or earlier experienced.
  • Constant bruxing (cataleptic jaw movement)
  • Excessive desire for biting bony food items.
  • Degenerative joint disease affecting the jaw joint.
  • Organic degeneration of the articular surface.
  • Persistent fibrous or bony ankylosis
  • Myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome.


TMJ Treatment


Treatment option for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder includes short term and long term approaches, both of which are effective. As for pain relief, one can go for conventional NSAIDs that provide short term relief but prove mostly ineffective as the pain is more neuralgic in nature against which the paracetamol group of drugs have very little or no effect at all.


The long term treatment option for TMJ involves physical therapy to the masticating muscles while attempting to alleviate postures of the head and neck that are considered harmful for the Temporomandibular Joint. Sometimes a flat-plane full-coverage oral appliance in the form of a non-repositioning Stabilizing Splint is used to relieve the stress on the TMJ. But since this may not suit all, an Anterior or Frontal Splint is used that has contact only with the front teeth and thus is found suitable to all. Nevertheless, this type of “Splint Therapy” is recommended only when it is reversible.


TMJ Symptoms and Treatment


The fact is, both conventional treatments (drugs and surgery) and over the counter medications (mouthguards and splints) cannot treat TMJ. At best, they can bring the symptoms down and as soon as their effect wanes, the problem resurfaces. What happens is that, the real problem remains deep within as till the time they cannot be identified and eradicated, the TMJ will keep coming back. Herbal supplements and home remedies can offer some relief, but they also fail to provide a lasting solution.


The only way to get rid of TMJ once and for all is to opt for holistic remedies that treat the body as a whole and identify all the contributing factors. Once these factors are identified and eradicated, the chronic nature of TMJ goes. And it never comes back to bother the person again.

TMJ Treatment

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Further Reading

TMJ Symptoms

TMJ Treatment

TMJ Exercises

TMJ Syndrome

TMJ Disorder

What Is TMJ

TMJ Relief

TMJ Pain

Signs of TMJ

Unusual Symptoms of TMJ

Relief of TMJ Symptoms: What to Do

Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

TMJ Symptoms and Treatment

TMJ Symptoms Including Numbness in Fingers and Arms

Symptoms of TMJ and Eagles Syndrome

What Is a Treatment for TMJ

TMJ Cure

TMJ Natural Cure

Dental Splints for TMJ Remedy

Home TMJ Remedies

Remedy TMJ Dizziness

Exercises to Relieve TMJ

Natural Exercises for TMJ

TMJ Jaw Exercises

Free TMJ Exercises

Stretching and Strengthening Exercises for TMJ

TMJ Pain Relief

TMJ and Temple Pain

TMJ Ear Pain

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TMJ Treatment

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