It’s estimated that tens of millions of men, women, and children suffer from TMJ and TMD many of whom have no knowledge of their TMJ condition or how to seek TMJ treatments from a TMJ Doctor or Dentist. Headaches and pain are the most common complaints from those afflicted with TMJ. Around 80% of patients with a TMJ disorder complain of a debilitating headache, and over 40% report some kind of facial pain. Your TMJ condition may unfortunately only worsen with time if you do not seek treatment from a TMJ specialist doctor or dentist. Without proper TMJ treatment you will experience increasing joint damage or inflammation, and further wear and breakdown of your teeth, which typically leads to increases in muscle contraction and consequently increased head, neck and facial pain. If your jaw is not correctly aligned, you’ll add wear and tear every time you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn: even while you sleep.
Possible Causes of TMJ:
Bruxism: A stereotyped movement disorder which occurs during sleep can overload the TMJ as a repetitive strain type injury and also exacerbate muscle pain. Estrogen : Adolescent girls can experience idiopathic or internal condylar resorption. Perimenopausal women also frequently complain of TMJ sensitivity and bite changes secondary to the presence of estrogen receptors in the TMJ. Autoimmune: Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, Lupus, Sjogrens, Reiters syndrome, and seronegative arthritis can be responsible for jaw pain and bite changes Joint laxity: Elongated ligaments allow the disc to easily slip out of position. Trauma: Macrotrauma, bad falls, blows to the chin, intubation and wisdom tooth extraction can all lead to joint strain or sprain. Sleep: Lack of stage 3 and 4 NREM sleep can lead to overall or widespread pain and fatigue. Healing occurs with 7-8 hours of deep restorative sleep. Arthritis: Arthritis can be localized as an osteo or traumatic arthritis, or systemic as an auto immune disease. With this, you can also experience inflammation. Inflammation may be localized.
Below are a few symptoms that can help determine whether or not you suffer from TMJ: Headaches: sometimes of migraine proportions. Ear pain symptoms: ringing in the ears, hearing loss, “plugged” ears, ear pain, a feeling of “under water” Clicking: There is a pad or disc which ideally sits between the temporal bone and mandible in the TM Joint. This cushion, like a magic carpet, can slip out of place causing clicking when opening and closing. Clicking can lead to locking and grating or crepitus. Locking: When a disc is chronically displaced, it does not always click back into place. This leads to locking of the jaw joint with deflection of the jaw and limited range of motion. Popping: Some clicking can be staccato or popping by nature. Jaw Pain: Although it can originate from many sources, the most common reason for jaw pain is dental, then musculoskeletal. Most dentists can rule out dental decay, periodontal disease or root canal as the offending dental pathology. Muscles, tendons, ligaments and the temporomandibular joint can all cause jaw pain. Jaw pain can radiate from the neck.