The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects the mandible (lower jaw) to the skull. These joints can be found on both sides of the head in front of the ears. The temporomandibular joint allows the jaw to open and close, and assists in speaking and eating.
Problems with these joints are known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders or temporomandibular joint disorders.
What is temporomandibular joint disorder?
Temporomandibular joint disorder is a condition that affects the jaw joint as well as the surrounding muscles and ligaments.
This condition can cause some very disturbing symptoms, such as jaw pain, headaches, and difficulty opening or closing the mouth.
For your information, temporomandibular joint disorders are more common in women than men.
Although it can be treated, there are many things that can cause this condition. That is why the process of diagnosing temporomandibular joint disorders can sometimes be difficult for doctors.
Causes of temporomandibular joint disorders
There is no single cause of temporomandibular joint disorders. This condition is generally triggered by many different factors or a combination of several factors.
Here are some causes of temporomandibular joint disorders that you need to be aware of:
- Jaw injury (such as a broken or dislocated jaw)
- The habit of grinding and grinding teeth (bruxism)
- Arthritis of the jaw joint
- Malocclusion (misaligned teeth)
In most cases, the cause of temporomandibular joint disorders is unknown.
Symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders
Symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders are quite diverse, including:
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw
- Pain in one or both temporomandibular joints
- Pain in and around the ear
- Difficulty chewing or pain when chewing
- Pain in the face
- The joints lock making it difficult to open or close the mouth
Temporomandibular joint disorders can also cause a “clicking” sound when the sufferer opens their mouth or chews.
How to treat temporomandibular joint disorders?
There are various ways to treat temporomandibular joint disorders, namely:
1. Home remedies
In most cases, the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders can be relieved with home remedies, such as:
- Eat soft foods
- Using ice to reduce swelling
- Reduces jaw movement
- Avoid chewing gum and hard textured foods
- Reduce stress
- Do jaw stretching exercises to improve movement.
If the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders cannot be relieved with home remedies, there are several medications that a doctor can prescribe, for example:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Muscle relaxants (muscle relaxants)
- Local anesthesia (local anesthesia)
The doctor will help decide what drug is most suitable, depending on the patient’s condition and medical history.
3. Physical therapy
In some cases, your doctor may recommend physical therapy to treat temporomandibular joint disorders.
Depending on the area affected, here are several types of therapy that can be recommended by the doctor:
- Heat therapy (heat therapy)
- Cooling therapy (cooling therapy)
- Network mobilization
- Endurance training.
4. Surgery or other procedures
If your symptoms do not improve with the various methods above, your doctor may recommend a more serious procedure.
Botox injection is one procedure that can be recommended. In very rare cases, doctors can ask patients to undergo surgical procedures.
- Dental care to correct the bite and align the teeth
- Arthrocentesis, a procedure to remove fluid and debris from a joint
- Surgery to replace joints
In some cases, procedures to treat temporomandibular joint disorders can make the symptoms worse. Therefore, discuss with your doctor the risks of the above procedure.
If left untreated, temporomandibular joint disorders can cause lasting discomfort, both in and around the jaw.
It is also possible that the joints affected by this condition become inflamed and the sufferer’s teeth may even become damaged.
Therefore, if you experience the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders above, immediately go to the doctor so you can get treatment.