TMJ / Jaw Disorder
The temporomandibular joint otherwise commonly abbreviated as TMJ are joints placed on either side of the skull below the ears. TMJ disorder is a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) that can result in excessive pain in the temporomandibular joint.
The cause behind TMD is often quite difficult to determine. The pain caused due to TMD may be due to several factors such as arthrtitis, jaw injury, genetics, excessive pressure, etc.
- Disk erosion or jaw misalignments
- Damaged cartilage
- Injury or sudden blow to the jawbone
The symptoms of TMD are:
- Pain or tenderness of the jaw
- Pain in the TMJs
- Severe pain in and around the ears
- Aching pain near the cheek bone
Diagnosis of TMD are generally done with diagnostic tools and a physical examination. The dentist would start by asking your health history and conduct a detailed physical examination. He or she would check the jaw joints for pain or signs of tenderness. Diagnostic tools such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computer tomography) can properly visualize teeth positions and jaw movements.
- Over-the-counter medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve muscular pain and swelling.
- Using hot or cold ice packs on either side of the face and temple area can help relieve the pain.
- Having a soft diet of mashed potatoes, soup, scrambled eggs, and steamed vegetables can put less pressure on the joints.