Temporomandibular joint disorders

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Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome

Temporomandibular joint syndrome

Definition

Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) is the name given to a group of symptoms that cause pain in the head, face, and jaw. The symptoms include headaches, soreness in the chewing muscles, and clicking or stiffness of the joints.

Description

TMJ syndrome, which is also sometimes called TMJ disorder, results from pressure on the facial nerves due to muscle tension or abnormalities of the bones in the area of the hinge joint between the lower jaw and the temporal bone. This hinge joint is called the temporomandibular joint. There are two temporomandibular joints, one on each side of the skull just in front of the ear. The temporal bone is the name of the section of the skull bones where the jawbone (the mandible) is connected. The jawbone is held in place by a combination of ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The temporomandibular joint also contains a piece of cartilage called a disc, which keeps the temporal bone and the jawbone from rubbing against each other. The jaw pivots at the joint area in front of the ear. The pivoting motion of the jaw is complicated because it can move downward and from side to side as well as forward. Anything that causes a change in shape or functioning of the temporomandibular joint will cause pain and other symptoms.

Causes & symptoms

TMJ syndrome has several possible physical causes:

  • Muscle tension. Muscle tightness in the temporomandibular joint usually results from overuse of muscles. This overuse in turn is often associated with psychological stress and clenching or grinding of the teeth (bruxism ).
  • Injury. A direct blow to the jaw or the side of the head can result in bone fracture, soft tissue bruising, or a dislocation of the temporomandibular joint itself.
  • Arthritis. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can cause TMJ.
  • Internal derangement. Internal derangement is a condition in which the cartilage disk lies in front of its proper position. In most cases of internal derangement, the disc moves in and out of its correct location, making a clicking or popping noise as it moves. In a few cases, the disc is permanently out of position, and the patient's range of motion in the jaw is limited.
  • Hypermobility. Hypermobility is a condition in which the ligaments that hold the jaw in place are too loose and the jaw tends to slip out of its socket.
  • Birth abnormalities. These are the least frequent causes of TMJ but do occur in a minority of patients. In some cases, the top of the jawbone is too small; in others, the top of the jawbone outgrows the lower part.
  • Oral habits. Some dentists think that such habits as wide yawning, lip or tongue biting, or mouth breathing can contribute to TMJ by putting the jaw in an abnorml position for long periods of time.
  • Dental work. Some people develop TMJ following dental work that requires the dentist to hold the patient's jaw open wide for extended periods of time. Other patients develop TMJ following removal of the wisdom teeth.

In addition to the physical causes of TMJ, dentists are increasingly recognizing the importance of psychosocial factors in the disorder. One recent finding is the importance of the patient's concept of pain itself. People who are already suffering from depression or an anxiety disorder, people who have little social support in their lives, and people who feel that they have little control over their lives are at greater risk of developing chronic pain syndromes, including TMJ.

In many cases TMJ results from a combination of psychological, anatomical, and functional factors rather than a single abnormality.

The symptoms of TMJ depend in part on its cause or causes. The most common symptoms are facial pain in front of the ears; headaches; sore jaw muscles; a clicking sound when chewing; a grating sensation when opening and closing the mouth; and temporary locking of the jaw. Some patients also report a sensation of buzzing or ringing in the ears. Usually, the temporomandibular joint itself is not painful. Most cases of TMJ are seen in women between 2050 years of age.

Diagnosis

TMJ syndrome is most frequently diagnosed by dentists. The dentist can often diagnose TMJ based on physical examination of the patient's face and jaw. The examination might include pressing on (palpating) the jaw muscles for soreness or asking the patient to open and close the jaw in order to check for misalignment of the teeth in the upper and lower jaw. This condition is called malocclusion. The dentist might also gently move the patient's jaw in order to check for loose ligaments.

Imaging studies are not usually necessary to diagnose TMJ. In most cases, x rays and MRI scans of the temporomandibular joint will be normal. Consequently, these two tests are not commonly used to diagnose TMJ. If the dentist suspects that the patient has internal derangement of the disc, a technique called arthrography can be used to make the diagnosis. In an arthrogram, a special dye is injected into the joint, which is then xrayed. Arthrography can be used to evaluate the movement of the jaw and the disc as well as size and shape, and to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment for TMJ.

Another aid to diagnosing TMJ is a new questionnaire designed to discriminate between facial pain related to TMJ and myogenic facial pain, a chronic condition that is caused by trigger points in the muscles of the face and neck. The McGill Pain Questionnaire has been reported to have a high degree of reliability in distinguishing between patients with TMJ and patients with myogenic facial pain.

Treatment

In many cases, the cause of pain in the TMJ area is temporary and disappears without treatment. About 80% of patients with TMJ will improve in six months without medications or physical treatments.

Biofeedback , which teaches an individual to control muscle tension and any associated pain through thought and visualization techniques, is also a treatment option for TMJ. In biofeedback treatments, sensors placed on the surface of the jaw are connected to a special machine that allows the patient and healthcare professional to monitor a visual and/or audible readout of the level of tension in the jaw muscles. Through relaxation and visualization exercises, the patient learns to relieve the tension and can actually see or hear the results of his or her efforts instantly through the sensor readout on the biofeedback equipment. Once the technique is learned and the patient is able to recognize and differentiate between the feelings of muscle tension and muscle relaxation,

the electromyographic biofeedback equipment itself is no longer needed and the patient has a powerful, portable, and self-administered treatment tool to deal with pain and tension.

Stress management and relaxation techniques may be useful in breaking the habit of jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Tight jaw muscles are often relaxed by applying warm compresses to the sides of the face. Acupuncture may relieve the jaw tension associated with TMJ. Massage therapy and deep tissue realignment can also assist in releasing the clenching pattern. Extra calcium and magnesium can also help relax jaw muscles.

Allopathic treatment

Allopathic practitioners are increasingly recommending more conservative treatments for TMJ, on the grounds that the majority of patients can be successfully treated with noninvasive, reversible approaches. These include patient education and eating softer foods as well as medication and the use of bite plates.

Patients with TMJ can be given muscle relaxants if their symptoms are related to muscle tension. Some patients may be given aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for minor discomfort. If the TMJ is related to rheumatoid arthritis, it may be treated with corticosteroids, methotrexate (MTX, Rheumatrex) or gold sodium (Myochrysine).

Patients who have difficulty with bruxism may be treated with splints. A plastic splint called a nightguard is given to the patient to place over the teeth before going to bed. Splints can also be used to treat some cases of internal derangement by holding the jaw forward and keeping the disc in place until the ligaments tighten. The splint is adjusted over a period of two to four months.

TMJ can also also be treated with ultrasound, stretching exercises, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), stress management techniques, or friction massage. A 2002 study done at the University of Maryland found that all of these treatments are helpful to patients with TMJ, but none appears to be clearly superior to the others.

Surgery is ordinarily used only to treat TMJ caused by birth deformities or certain forms of internal derangement caused by misshapen discs.

Expected results

The prognosis for recovery from TMJ is excellent for almost all patients. Most patients do not need any form of long-term treatment. Surgical procedures to treat TMJ are quite successful. In the case of patients with TMJ caused by arthritis or infectious diseases, the progression of the arthritis or the success of eliminating infectious agents determines whether TMJ can be eliminated.

Resources

BOOKS

"Disorders of the Temporomandibular Joint." In Merck Manual of Medical Information: Home Edition, edited by Robert Berkow, et al. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Research Laboratories, 1997.

Murphy, William A., Jr., and Phoebe A. Kaplan. "Temporomandibular Joint." In Diagnosis of Bone and Joint Disorders, edited by Donald Resnick. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company, 1995.

PERIODICALS

Grace, E. G., E. Sarlani, and B. Read. "The Use of an Oral Exercise Device in the Treatment of Muscular TMD." Cranio Clinics International 20 (July 2002): 204-208.

Mongini, F., F. Raviola, and M. Italiano. "The McGill Pain Questionnaire in Patients with Myogenic Facial Pain and TMJ Disorders." Journal of Oral Rehabilitation 29 (September 2002): 875.

Nilges, P. "Psychosocial Factors in Patients with Temporomandibular Pain." [in German] Schmerz 16 (September 2002): 365-372.

Syrop, S. B. "Initial Management of Temporomandibular Disorders." Dentistry Today 21 (August 2002): 52-57.

Vanderas, A. P., and L. Papagiannoulis. "Multifactorial Analysis of the Aetiology of Craniomandibular Dysfunction in Children." International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry 12 (September 2002): 336-346.

Yamakawa, M., T. Ansai, S. Kasai, et al. "Dentition Status and Temporomandibular Joint Disorders in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis." Cranio Clinics International 20 (July 2002): 165-171.

ORGANIZATIONS

American Dental Association. 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. (312)4402500. <www.ada.org>.

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892. (301) 496-4261. <www.nidr.nih.gov>.

TMJ Association, Ltd. <www.tmj.org>.

Paula Ford-Martin

Rebecca J. Frey, PhD

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Ford-Martin, Paula; Frey, Rebecca. "Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome." Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. 31 Aug. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Ford-Martin, Paula; Frey, Rebecca. "Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome." Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. (August 31, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3435100769.html

Ford-Martin, Paula; Frey, Rebecca. "Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome." Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. 2005. Retrieved August 31, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3435100769.html

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Definition

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is the name given to a group of symptoms that cause pain in the head, face, and jaw. The symptoms include headaches, soreness in the chewing muscles, and clicking or stiffness of the joints. They often have psychological as well as physical causes.

Description

TMJ disorder, which is also sometimes called TMJ syndrome, results from pressure on the facial nerves due to muscle tension or abnormalities of the bones in the area of the hinge joint between the lower jaw and the temporal bone. This hinge joint is called the temporomandibular joint. There are two temporomandibular joints, one on each side of the skull just in front of the ear. The name of the joint comes from the two bones that make it up. The temporal bone is the name of the section of the skull bones where the jaw bone (the mandible) is connected. The jaw bone is held in place by a combination of ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The temporomandibular joint also contains a piece of cartilage called a disc, which keeps the temporal bone and the jaw bone from rubbing against each other. The jaw pivots at the joint area in front of the ear. The pivoting motion of the jaw is complicated because it can move downward and from side to side as well as forward. Anything that causes a change in shape or functioning of the temporomandibular joint will cause pain and other symptoms.

Causes and symptoms

Causes

TMJ syndrome has several possible physical causes:

  • Muscle tension. Muscle tightness in the temporomandibular joint usually results from overuse of muscles. This overuse in turn is often associated with psychological stress and clenching or grinding of the teeth (bruxism ).
  • Injury. A direct blow to the jaw or the side of the head can result in bone fracture, soft tissue bruising, or a dislocation of the temporomandibular joint itself.
  • Arthritis. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can cause TMJ.
  • Internal derangement. Internal derangement is a condition in which the cartilage disk lies in front of its proper position. In most cases of internal derangement, the disc moves in and out of its correct location, making a clicking or popping noise as it moves. In a few cases, the disc is permanently out of position, and the patient's range of motion in the jaw is limited.
  • Hypermobility. Hypermobility is a condition in which the ligaments that hold the jaw in place are too loose and the jaw tends to slip out of its socket.
  • Birth abnormalities. These are the least frequent cause of TMJ but do occur in a minority of patients. In some cases, the top of the jawbone is too small; in others, the top of the jawbone outgrows the lower part.

Symptoms

The symptoms of TMJ depend in part on its cause. The most common symptoms are facial pain in front of the ears; headaches; sore jaw muscles; a clicking sound when chewing; a grating sensation when opening and closing the mouth; and temporary locking of the jaw. Some patients also report a sensation of buzzing or ringing in the ears. Usually, the temporomandibular joint itself is not painful. Most cases of TMJ are seen in women between 20-50 years of age.

Diagnosis

Dental examination and patient history

TMJ disorders are most frequently diagnosed by dentists. The dentist can often diagnose TMJ based on physical examination of the patient's face and jaw. The examination might include pressing on (palpating) the jaw muscles for soreness or asking the patient to open and close the jaw in order to check for misalignment of the teeth in the upper and lower jaw. This condition is called malocclusion. The dentist might also gently move the patient's jaw in order to check for loose ligaments.

Imaging studies

Imaging studies are not usually necessary to diagnose TMJ. In most cases, x rays and MRI scans of the temporomandibular joint will be normal. Consequently, these two tests are not commonly used to diagnose TMJ. If the dentist suspects that the patient has internal derangement of the disc, he or she can use a technique called arthrography to make the diagnosis. In an arthrogram, a special dye is injected into the joint, which is then x-rayed. Arthrography can be used to evaluate the movement of the jaw and the disc as well as size and shape, and to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment for TMJ.

Treatment

In many cases, the cause of pain in the TMJ area is temporary and disappears without treatment. About 80% of patients with TMJ will improve in six months without medications or physical treatments.

Medications

Patients with TMJ can be given muscle relaxants if their symptoms are related to muscle tension. Some patients may be given aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for minor discomfort. If the TMJ is related to rheumatoid arthritis, it may be treated with corticosteroids, methotrexate (MTX, Rheumatrex) or gold sodium (Myochrysine).

Physical therapy and mechanical devices

Patients who have difficulty with bruxism are usually treated with splints. A plastic splint called a nightguard is given to the patient to place over the teeth before going to bed. Splints can also be used to treat some cases of internal derangement by holding the jaw forward and keeping the disc in place until the ligaments tighten. The splint is adjusted over a period of two to four months.

TMJ can also be treated with ultrasound, electromyographic biofeedback, stretching exercises, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, stress management techniques, or friction massage.

Surgery

Surgery is ordinarily used only to treat TMJ caused by birth deformities or certain forms of internal derangement caused by misshapen discs.

Prognosis

The prognosis for recovery from TMJ is excellent for almost all patients. Most patients do not need any form of long-term treatment. Surgical procedures to treat TMJ are quite successful. In the case of patients with TMJ caused by arthritis or infectious diseases, the progression of the arthritis or the success of eliminating infectious agents determines whether TMJ can be eliminated.

Resources

BOOKS

Berktow, Robert, et al., editor. "Disorders of the Temporomandibular Joint." In Merck Manual of Medical Information: Home Edition. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Research Laboratories, 1997.

KEY TERMS

Arthrography An imaging technique that is sometimes used to evaluate TMJ associated with internal derangement.

Bruxism Habitual clenching and grinding of the teeth, especially during sleep.

Electromyographic biofeedback A method for relieving jaw tightness by monitoring the patient's attempts to relax the muscle while the patient watches a gauge. The patient gradually learns to control the degree of muscle relaxation.

Internal derangement A condition in which the cartilage disc in the temporomandibular joint lies in front of its proper position.

Malocclusion The misalignment of opposing teeth in the upper and lower jaws.

Mandible The medical name for the lower jaw.

Osteoarthritis A type of arthritis marked by chronic degeneration of the cartilage of the joints, leading to pain and sometimes loss of function.

Rheumatoid arthritis A chronic autoimmune disorder marked by inflammation and deformity of the affected joints.

Temporal bones The compound bones that form the left and right sides of the skull.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation A method for relieving the muscle pain of TMJ by stimulating nerve endings that do not transmit pain. It is thought that this stimulation blocks impulses from nerve endings that do transmit pain.

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Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT DISORDERS

DEFINITION


Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a group of symptoms that involve pain in the head, face, and jaw. Symptoms of TMJ include headaches, soreness in the chewing muscles, and clicking or stiffness of the joints. The disorder can be caused by psychological as well as physical factors. TMJ is also known as temporomandibular joint syndrome.

DESCRIPTION


The temporomandibular joint (pronounced TEM-pu-roh-man-DIBB-yuh-lur) connects the jawbone (the mandible) with the lower part of the skull (the temporal bone). The joint is located in front of the ear. It allows the jaw to move up and down, back and forth, and forward and backward. Various factors can alter the shape or motion of the temporomandibular joint, which may then put pressure on facial nerves. This pressure can result in pain in various parts of the head. Most cases of TMJ occur in women between the age of twenty and fifty.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders: Words to Know

Arthrography:
An imaging technique in which a dye is injected into a joint to make X-ray pictures of the inside of the joint easier to study.
Internal derangement:
A condition in which the regular arrangement of parts in a system is disturbed. Some cases of TMJ are caused by a particular internal derangement in which the disc in the temporomandibular joint slips out of its normal position.
Mandible:
The scientific term for the lower jaw.
Temporal bones:
The bones that form the right and left sides of the skull.

CAUSES


TMJ syndrome has several possible physical causes:

  • Muscle tension. Overuse of jaw muscles can cause tightness in the temporomandibular joint. A common cause of muscle tightness is stress. People who are overly worried may clench or grind their teeth excessively, which can cause muscle tension.
  • Injury. A direct blow to the jaw or the side of the head can cause TMJ. The blow can break a bone, bruise soft tissue, or dislocate the temporomandibular joint itself.
  • Arthritis (see arthritis entry). Arthritis is a disease of joints caused by a number of factors. Arthritis in the region of the temporomandibular joint can cause TMJ.
  • Internal derangement. The temporomandibular joint contains a small piece of cartilage called a disc, which keeps the jawbone and the temporal bone from rubbing against each other. Sometimes the disc slips out of place creating what is known as an internal derangement. Often this condition can be detected by a clicking or popping sound caused by the disc moving in and out of its correct position. On rare occasions, the disc can become permanently displaced, and a patient may lose the ability to move his or her jaw in all normal ways.
  • Hypermobility. Hypermobility is a condition in which ligaments in the temporomandibular joint become loose. Ligaments are pieces of tissue that hold bones together. In cases of hypermobility, the jaw may slip entirely out of its socket.
  • Birth abnormalities. Children are sometimes born with defects in the temporomandibular joint. For example, the top of the jawbone may be too small. Such causes of TMJ are relatively rare.

SYMPTOMS


The symptoms of TMJ depend in part on its cause. The most common symptoms include the following:

  • Facial pain in front of the ears
  • Headaches
  • Sore jaw muscles
  • A clicking sound when chewing
  • A grinding feeling when opening and closing the mouth
  • Temporary locking of the jaw

Some patients also report a buzzing or ringing in the ears. In most cases, the temporomandibular joint itself is not painful.

DIAGNOSIS


TMJ is most commonly diagnosed by a dentist. The dentist can often tell simply by touching a patient's face if the temporomandibular joint is out of place. Manipulation of the jaw provides additional information. It may be possible to see that the patient's teeth do not close together properly. Looseness in the jaw may indicate hypermobility as well.

Imaging Studies

Imaging studies are used to obtain pictures of the interior of a person's body. X rays are probably the best-known form of imaging studies. In most cases, imaging studies are not very helpful in diagnosing TMJ because the temporomandibular joint will look normal in such studies. Arthrography (pronounced arr-THRAHG-ruh-fee) is one form of imaging that can be useful, however. In arthrography, a dye is injected into the patient's temporomandibular joint. The joint is then observed while being X-rayed. Any abnormal movement of the jaw can be observed by this method.

TREATMENT


The pain associated with TMJ usually goes away on its own without treatment. About 80 percent of patients with the disorder improve in six months without treatment.

Medications


The minor discomfort of TMJ can be treated with pain relievers such as aspirin or acetaminophen. Muscle relaxants may help if the condition is caused by muscle tension. Instances when TMJ is caused by arthritis can be treated with corticosteroids, methotrexate, gold sodium, or other anti-arthritic medications.

Physical Therapy and Mechanical Devices

Some patients experience serious problems with clenching and grinding of their teeth at night. For these patients a plastic splint called a nightguard can be prescribed. The nightguard is placed over the teeth before going to bed. Splints can also be used to hold the jaw and disc in place when these factors are responsible for the disorder.

TMJ can also be treated by a variety of other techniques, such as ultrasound, biofeedback, stretching exercises, electrical nerve stimulation, stress management techniques, or massage.

Surgery

Surgery can be used to place the temporomandibular joint back into its correct position. This approach is used almost exclusively in cases of TMJ caused by birth deformities or internal derangement.

PROGNOSIS


The prognosis for recovery from TMJ is excellent for almost all patients. Most patients do not need any form of long-term treatment. Surgical procedures used to treat TMJ are usually quite successful. The prognosis for cases of TMJ caused by arthritis depends on the progress of the arthritis itself.

PREVENTION


There is no way to prevent TMJ that is caused by physical factors. Stress-induced TMJ can be prevented by learning stress management techniques before the problem starts.

FOR MORE INFORMATION


Books

Shankland, Wesley E. TMJ: Its Many Faces, 2nd edition. Columbus, OH: Anadem, Inc., 1998.

Taddey, John J. TMJ: The Self Help Program. La Jolla, CA: Surrey Park Press, 1990.

Uppgaard, Robert O. Taking Control of TMJ: Your Total Wellness Program for Recovering from Tempromandibular Joint Pain, Whiplash, Fibromyalgia, and Related Disorders. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, 1999.

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Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)

Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)

What Is TMJ?

What Are the Causes of TMJ?

What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?

How Is TMJ Diagnosed and Treated?

Resources

Temporomandibular (tem-po-ro-man-DIB-yoo-lar) joint syndrome refers to symptoms caused by problems with the joint that joins the jawbone to the skull.

KEYWORDS

for searching the Internet and other reference sources

Bruxism

Malocclusion

Whiplash injuries

What Is TMJ?

Technically, TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, or jaw joint, one of which is located on each side of the head. These joints are where the lower jaw, or mandible (MAN-di-bul), meets the temporal (TEM-po-ral) bone, which is one of a pair of bones that form the lower part of the

skull. Each temporomandibular joint acts as both a hinge and a gliding joint; they allow the jaw to open and to slide from side to side.

TMJ also refers to temporomandibular joint syndrome (or disorder), in which the joints do not function properly. This may cause pain, difficulty opening and closing the mouth easily, or problems with chewing and swallowing, as well as other symptoms.

What Are the Causes of TMJ?

TMJ can be caused by dislocated temporomandibular joints or by inherited problems with the joints. In a condition called bruxism (BRUK-siz-um), some people grind their teeth during sleep or times of stress, which can lead to TMJ. Malocclusion (mal-o-KLOO-zhun), when teeth do not fit together properly; whiplash injuries* from car accidents; being hit on the head or jaw; and arthritis* are other causes of TMJ.

* whiplash injuries
describe general injuries to the spine and spinal cord at the junction of the fourth and fifth vertebrae (VER-te-bray) in the neck occurring as a result of rapid acceleration or deceleration of the body.
* arthritis
(ar-THRY-tis) refers to any of several disorders characterized by inflammation (in-fla-MAY-shun) of the joints.

What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?

Since the TMJ joint is located near many important nerves going between the brain and many parts of the body, the symptoms can be felt in parts of the body that do not seem related to the TMJ joint. Millions of Americans report some of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Pain in the face, sinuses, ears, eyes, teeth, neck, and back
  • Clicking sounds in the jaw
  • Difficulty in opening or closing the mouth
  • Trouble chewing or swallowing

How Is TMJ Diagnosed and Treated?

Doctors or dentists will ask the patient to describe the symptoms and will then examine the patient. Sometimes, x-rays and MRIs* are used to examine the joints to diagnose TMJ.

* MRI,
which is short for magnetic resonance imaging, produces computerized images of internal body tissues based on the magnetic properties of atoms within the body.

Hot compresses and over-the-counter pain medications may help relieve TMJ. Stress management and mouth guards worn at night can help eliminate teeth grinding and its effects.

See also

Resources

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), posts information about TMJ on its website. http://www.nidr.nih.gov/news/pubs/tmd/main.htm

TMJ Association, Ltd., P.O. Box 26770, Milwaukee, WI 53226-0770.

The TMJ Association provides information and support for people who have TMJ. Telephone 414-259-3223 http://www.tmj.org

Jaw Joints and Allied Musculo-Skeletal Disorders Foundation, Inc. (JJAMD), Forsyth Dental Research Center, 140 Fenway, Boston, MA 02115-3799. This organization, founded in 1982, provides information and support for people with TMJ. Telephone 617-266-2550

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