TMJ is the abbreviation of temporomandibular joint. It is the area which is in front of the ear where the upper jaw and lower jaw meets. In these temporomandibular joints, there are tissues which allow the upper jaw to rest on the lower jaw and all the movement of jaws is administered by a sliding disc of joints. These joints are one of the most frequently moving joints like they are used for eating, chewing, talking and yawning. These TMJ are quite complex in nature as they are made up of tendons, bones and muscles. When these muscles relax, we can talk easily and these jaws can move comfortably for chewing and yawning without ache.
When you place your fingers on the triangular structure in front of the ear, you open up the jaws and firmly press the fingers in the inner side. This movement is caused by temporomandibular joints.
Temporomandibular joint disorder means that your muscles and joints of the jaws start working together. This condition is called costen's syndrome or myofascial pain dysfunction. It can lead to ear pain, headache, stiffness, bite problems, locked jaws and clicking sounds. One of the reactions of this TMJ joint disorder is teeth grinding. One cannot feel this situation sometimes that he/she is clenching teeth during sleep. Your partner or your doctor can tell you about it by observing the signs of wear and tear on the teeth.
Some of the other temporomandibular joints disorder effects include nail biting, gum chewing, dental problems, chewing from one side of the mouth and jaw, misalignment of the teeth, fractures in the jaw, trauma, stress can make you clench your teeth and holding the phone in inappropriate way like between head and shoulder can also lead to temporomandibular joints disorder. Some of the symptoms of TMJ disorder are headache, excess use of jaw muscles, ear pain, grinding, popping and crunching sounds, dizziness, laziness, muffled clog, ear pain, fullness and ringing in the ear.
When you get to know that you are having this TMJ disorder, you need to start the treatment immediately. Some of the TMJ treatment include eating soft diet and anti inflammatory medications. Some of the serious treatments for temporomandibular joints disorder are discussed here. First of all, you need to know the times when you grind your teeth like if you are under stress. At such times, you should give rest to your jaws.
The next treatment is heat and ice therapy. This therapy reduces muscles tensions. Physical therapy is used for treating the joints disorder. In this therapy, jaw massage decreases pain and improve motion of the joints. The usage of medications is also healthy, like steroids help to control inflammation. The important therapy is stress management. This can be dealt by support, counseling, and medications to the patient.
Another method for reducing teeth grinding includes occlusal therapy, which is an appliance attached to the teeth of the patient and it can help to reduce the clenching of teeth. Corrective dental therapy is a beneficial therapy which reduces abnormal bites. In this therapy, crowns and bridges are adjusted promptly so that patient can bite properly. And last but not the least, TMJ treatment is surgery. It is practiced when the patient does not react to any of the medical therapy and medication. In this surgery, joint restricting, ligament tightening and replacement of joint is carried out and it is followed when the patient is having very severe joint injury. Moreover, you can learn jaw relaxation exercises and avoid resting your chin on your hand as it disturbs the position of the jaws.