Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, which is referred to as TMJ, or TMD, is a disorder which affects the jaw. More specifically, it affects the temporomandibular joint, which is a joint that is found on either side of the head, just below the ears, and which connects the temporal bone of the skull to the mandible, or jawbone. When functioning normally, this joint moves forward, back, and side to side, working together with other muscles and ligaments to allow a person to chew, swallow, yawn and speak. However, when the temporomandibular joint is injured, all of these functions can become compromised.
A TMJ disorder can be caused by a number of factors, including diseases like arthritis, or excessive clenching and grinding. However, the jaw and the temporomandibular joint can also be injured by a blow or impact, as well as a rapid movement of the head in a back and forth motion. This rapid back and forth movement is a type which commonly occurs during a car accident. Unfortunately, once the jaw has sustained a TMJ injury, tension or pain in the neck muscles tend to make symptoms even worse. Finally, severe TMJ injuries can result in the jaw joints and/or discs becoming damaged or displaced, leading to, in rare cases, the need for extensive treatment or even jaw surgery.
As such, it is important to be aware of some of the common symptoms TMJ and TMD outlined below, which, if present, should be discussed with a dentist as soon as practicable. This will ensure that proper treatment can be stared early and, thus, the likelihood of full recovery increased.
Common TMJ/TMD symptoms include the following:
Fortunately, there are a number of TMJ/TMD treatments available to your dentist which can help with your short-term symptoms, and aid in eventually reaching a full recovery. They include manual therapy through TMJ-specific physiotherapy and/or massages treatment, as well as the fabrication and use of a custom night guard, commonly referred to as an occulsal splint or appliance. While conservative treatment tends to work in most cases, some TMJ injuries may require a prolonged therapy or, in rare cases, surgery.We are experienced with helping those who suffer from TMJ and TMD injuries and, as such, understand the impact they have on an injured person’s quality of life. For those reasons, we believe it is important to identify the signs and symptoms and begin treatment with the appropriate professionals as soon as possible.
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TYPES OF BODILY INJURIES
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