What is TMJ?

What is TMJ?
TMJ, also called Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome is a condition of facial pain in the joints of the lower jaw. The Temporomandibular joints connect the lower jaw to the skull.
What causes TMJ?
TMJ can be caused by many things. The usual causes are: arthritis, jaw fractures, jaw dislocations, jaw clenching, and tooth grinding.
What are the Symptoms of TMJ?
The most common symptoms are: headaches, popping sounds in the jaw, difficulty chewing, decreased ability to open and close the mouth, jaw pain, and aching facial pain.
Can TMJ be Prevented?
Yes. Prevention techniques depend on the specific cause. If it is caused by jaw clenching or tooth grinding. The patient can prevent it by discontinuing to clench their jaw or grind their teeth. If it is caused by a jaw fracture or dislocation, safety measures can be taken to reduce the risk of fractures and dislocations.
Treatment options for TMJ
Some of the most common treatments are: jaw exercises, jaw alignment devices, and medication to reduce the pain. Surgery is rarely performed.
If the person is experiencing muscle spasm, a moist heat pack applied to the jaw area will help together with some anti inflammatory analgesics. Relaxation exercises may also help.
How is TMJ diagnosed?
Your dentist can determine TMJ by performing a physical examination of the jaw and face area and taking a full history. In some cases, an X-ray or an MRI may be performed.

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