Jaw joint disorders (TMJ Diseases)
The number of people with joint pain or dysfunction in the joint area is much higher than expected. Changes in adjacent structures outside the joint and systemic diseases cause various clinical findings. Sometimes pain and loss of function can be observed when muscular disorders are encountered.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
Temporomandibular disorders is a painful dysfunction syndrome which affect the Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and \ or chewing muscles.
Symptoms of TMJ disorders
- Squeaking, clicking, rattling while opening and closing the mouth
- Limited opening of jaw or jaw locking
- Pain or stiffness in the neck
- Dizziness, fainting
- Pain when chewing
- Facial pain
- Pain when interlocking teeth
- Fatigue of chin while chewing
- Numbness in the hands
- Difficulty in yawning
Displacement of the disc or degenerative changes in the condyle and disc may also occur in TMJ. Differences in clinical symptoms in TMJ cannot always be explained as disc displacement. The function and dysfunction of the masticatory muscles should also be taken into account.
Factors Causing Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
- Direct trauma to the jaws (as a result of an accident or impact),
- Iatrogenic injuries caused by dental or medical treatment (physician-originated),
- Developmental defects of the joint (hypoplasia, etc.),
- Degenerative joint disorders, osteoarthritis, arthrosis,
- Autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus,
Parafunctional jaw activities: squeaking, bruxism,
- Orofacial movement disorders,
Behavioral disorders: stress, depression, somatization,
- Major discrepancies in jaw relations,
Major discrepancies in dental occlusion,
- Unknown factors.
How do I know that I have TMJ Disorder?
• Have you had any unusual pain?
• Do you hear a ticking, clicking or a tock when you open and close your jaw?
• Do you have aches or pain in these areas? Jaw joints, lower jaw, upper jaw, neck, back of the head, forehead, temples.
• Do you ear experience congestion, pressure or excessive wax excretion in your ears?
•Do you hear sounds like ringing, roaring in your ears?
• Have you ever felt dizziness before?
• Do you have chills or numbness in your hands, fingers or arms?
• Do you always get tired easily or do you think you have chronic fatigue?
• Do teeth marks appear in the side where your tongue is?
• Does your tongue get between your teeth when you swallow?
• Are you having trouble chewing food?
• Have you lost teeth in the back?
• Do you clench your teeth during the day or night?
• Do you grind your teeth while you sleep at night? (Ask your family)
• Have you ever woken up with toothache?
• Have you ever experienced a neck injury?
• Have you ever had a blow to your chin, face or head?
• Have pain killers taken long to take effect for your pain?
• Do your symptoms get worse while chewing?
• Do you feel pain when you open and close your mouth while pressing your fingers into your ears?
• Does your jaw slide to the right or left when you open your mouth?
• When you open your mouth, can your first 3 fingers enter vertically?
• Do you have facial asymmetry?
If you answer is a ‘Yes’ to many of these questions, you could have TMJ disease.