This article provides an in-depth look at TMJ disorders, what they are and what frequently causes them.
You wouldn’t readily associate earache, headaches and migraines with the jaw, says the orthodontist in Colorado Springs. And yet, the tiny hinge that connects the mandible (the lower jaw) to the temple region of the skull can be the source of much chronic pain and discomfort. A malfunctioning temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is responsible for the mobility and therefore functionality (eating, speaking) of the lower jaw, can cause all sorts of symptoms, as well as pain that refers to seemingly unrelated parts of the upper body. Chronic headaches, jaw stiffness, jaw clicking, fatigue, terrible migraines and neck pain are all common among the patients who present with some kind of TMJ disorder, explains the orthodontist in Colorado Springs.
The Dentist in Colorado Springs: A Closer Look at the Temporomandibular Joint
The Orthodontist in Colorado Springs: Understanding TMJ Disorders
There are many problems relating to the functionality of the TMJ that can arise, says the orthodontist in Colorado Springs. And when they do, they can impair your ability to eat and speak comfortably; to different degrees depending upon the severity of the condition. TMD, or Temporomandibular Disorder, essentially refers to the various problems relating to the joint that can cause a number of symptoms, including those mentioned in the opening paragraph, says the orthodontist in Colorado Springs.
For some patients, says the dentist in Colorado Springs, temporomandibular joint disorder represents nothing more annoying than a clicking of the jaw when eating. For others, it can cause symptoms as severe and disruptive as chronic and acute migraines. In the latter severe cases of TMD, the simple functions for which the jaw is intended can become incredibly difficult and painful, explains the orthodontist in Colorado Springs. Imagine waking up with a slipped disk and not being able to open your jaw wide enough to take a sip of your coffee? It can be very frightening.
The Dentist in Colorado Springs: The Causes of TMD
The causes behind temporomandibular joint disorders are not always very clear and easy to diagnose, explains the orthodontist in Colorado Springs. The symptoms are generally a result of the muscles surrounding and attached to the actual joint becoming inflamed and painful. Understanding how to treat TMD in a patient, therefore, comes from determining the cause of this inflammation and malfunctioning:
•Teeth grinding (Bruxism) or the clenching of the jaw at night can exert immense strain upon the hinge between the mandible and skull. This can cause the TMJ muscles to become sore and inflamed, explains the dentist in Colorado Springs.
•Trauma received to the TMJ, the surrounding muscles or jaw can also cause inflammation and chronic pain, says the orthodontist in Colorado Springs. This kind of injury can easily be sustained in, for example, a car accident or from a heavy blow to the face or neck.
•Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ.
•Stress is often a major cause of jaw clenching and teeth grinding and this undue strain on the muscles can trigger temporomandibular joint disorders, says the orthodontist in Colorado Springs.
•TMD can also be caused by the actual dislocation of the disc that cushions the mandibular joint in the skull socket.
A Final Note from the Orthodontist in Colorado Springs
TMD symptoms can range from unpleasant to down-right debilitating. Thankfully, in many cases, they can end up resolving themselves. There are many treatments and therapies recommended by the dentist in Colorado Springs for the symptoms as well as the root problem. If after two weeks you still struggle with pain and discomfort, be sure to contact the dentist to arrange an appointment.