Temporomandibular Disorder (TMJ) and Orofacial Pain in our Practice
What is Temporomandibular Disorder (TMJ)
The mandible, or jaw, is attached to the skull by two joints, one on either side of the head, right in front of the ears. These joints are called the Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ) because they connect the jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the head.
Orofacial Pain (Craniofacial Pain)
(Craniofacial Pain) refers to any pain in the "oral" or "facial" or head area. Them are many different sources of these pains from neck injury, to pain from internal structures, eyes, sinuses, ears, nose and of course the mouth and throat. The reason for many orofacial pain is usually some form of injury or improper function of the jaw joints, muscles and or teeth. Some pains occur as headaches, others occur as shooting, stabbing or throbbing pains. Some pains are continuous and others are intermittent.Top
TMD: An Understanding
There are two main areas of concern when dealing with TMD problems. The first are the muscles of the head and neck that moves the jaw and the second is with the joints themselves. The muscles in the temple and cheek areas may feel tight or painful especially when pushed or rubbed. Headaches and/or earaches are a common complaint. Joint problems may include clicking or grinding noises while chewing or opening, especially to yawn. This may not be painful at the start but could progress to pain or locking of the joint in future. Symptoms are also some-times mistaken for tension, migraine headaches, sinus trouble, ear infection or toothaches.Top
What Causes TM Dysfunction?
There is never one single contributor to TMD problems but rather a variety of reasons. Some of the contributing factors may include stress, accidents, your bite (the way your teeth fit together), skeletal imbalances and clenching and grinding of teeth.Top
Management involves a wide range of treatment, depending on the severity of the problem. It can include stress management, physiotherapy, night appliances and other more advanced forms of appliance therapy. It often involves a multi-disciplinary approach using other health care professionals.
For additional information on the management, physiotherapy, night appliances and other more advanced forms of appliance therapy on the temporomandibular joint, please contact our office.Top
Dr. Gerald Wexler