Thursday, April 28, 2011

TMJ Disorder - 10 Ways Recognize If You Have TMJ

Within the TMJ, there are moving parts that allow the upper jaw to close on the lower jaw. This joint is a typical sliding ball and socket that has a disc sandwiched between it. The TMJ is used throughout the day to move the jaw when biting and chewing, talking, and yawning. The TMJ is one of the most frequently used joints of the body.

The signs of TMJ disorder vary greatly from chronic to acute symptoms. Doctors agree that problems around the jaw can present with varying degrees of pain and impairment The TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint is the hinge between the lower jaw (mandible) and base of the skull (temporal bone). You can locate the TMJ by firmly placing a finger slightly in front of the ear canal and opening the jaw; what you feel is the TMJ joint.

The causes of TMJ disorder have not been widely studied however, common problems relating to TMJ are:

Trauma from grinding teeth or clenching teeth or trauma from accident


Developmental anomalies

Many symptoms may not appear related to the TMJ itself so it may not have occurred to some people that they actually have TMJ disorder.

Consider the following common symptoms to see if you may have TMJ:

1. Headache and dizziness
2. Facial pain which can extend to head, neck, back and shoulders
3. Ear pain, tinnitus(ringing in ears), hearing loss
4. When joints move, sounds such as clicking, popping or grating occur
5. Jaw may lock wide open or may not fully open at all.
6. Trouble swallowing
7. Swelling of face on affected side
8. Misaligned bite disorder
9. Chewing on one side al the time
10.Waking with pain on side of head, usually in the temporalis muscle

Many TMJ sufferers do not know that their TMJ is the source of the ear pain they are experiencing, and assume instead that it must be caused by an ear infection or another inner ear problem. Because the TMJs are located right next to the ears, radiating pain from the affected joint, nerves, or other surrounding structures may seem like it is originating from the ears. A visit to a ENT(Ear, Nose, Throat) surgeon will provide an assessment of your TMJ dysfunction and provide an accurate diagnosis.

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