Category Archives: Temporomandibular joint disorder TMJ
Temporomandibular joint disorder, TMJD (in the medical literature TMD), or TMJ syndrome, is an umbrella term covering acute or chronic pain, especially in the muscles of mastication and/or inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, which connects the mandible to the skull. The primary cause is muscular hyper- or parafunction, as in the case of bruxism, with secondary effects on the oral musculoskeletal system, like various types of displacement of the disc in the temporomandibular joint. The disorder and resultant dysfunction can result in significant pain, which is the most common TMD symptom, combined with impairment of function. Because the disorder transcends the boundaries between several health-care disciplines — in particular, dentistry and neurology — there are a variety of treatment approaches.
The temporomandibular joint is susceptible to many of the conditions that affect other joints in the body, including ankylosis, arthritis, trauma, dislocations, developmental anomalies, neoplasia and reactive lesions.
An older name for the condition is “Costen’s syndrome”, after James B. Costen, who partially characterized it in 1934.
Signs and symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder vary in their presentation and can be very complex, but are often simple. On average the symptoms will involve more than one of the numerous TMJ components: muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, bones, connective tissue, and the teeth. Ear pain associated with the swelling of proximal tissue is a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder.
Symptoms associated with TMJ disorders may be:
Biting or chewing difficulty or discomfort
Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
Dull, aching pain in the face
Earache (particularly in the morning)
Headache (particularly in the morning)
Migraine (particularly in the morning)
Jaw pain or tenderness of the jaw
Reduced ability to open or close the mouth
Neck and shoulder pain
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