Jaw Joint disorders (TMJ Diseases)
The number of people with joint pain or joint dysfunction is much higher than previously thought. Changes in adjacent structures outside the joint and systemic diseases cause various clinical findings. Sometimes, pain and loss of function can be seen when there is a muscle disorder.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
Temporomandibular disorders are pain and dysfunction syndromes involving the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) and/or masticatory muscles.
Symptoms of TMJ disorders:
- Ringing in the ears
- Squeaking, clicking, rattling sound when opening and closing your mouth
- Limited opening or locking of your jaw
- Pain or stiffness in the neck
- Dizziness, fainting
- Pain when chewing
- Facial pain
- Pain when closing the teeth on top of each other
- Fatigue in the jaw when chewing
- Numbness in hands
- Difficulty yawning
Displacement of the disc or degenerative changes in the condyle and disc may also occur in TMJ. Differences in clinical symptoms in TMJ cannot always be explained by disc displacement. The function and dysfunction of the masticatory muscles should also be taken into account.
Factors Causing Temporamandibular Joint Disorders
- Direct trauma to the jaws (as a result of accident or impact),
- Iatrogenic (physician-induced) injuries that occur during dental or medical treatment,
- Developmental defects of the joint (hypoplasias etc.),
- Degenerative joint disorders, osteoarthritis, arthrosis,
- Autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus,
- Parafunctional jaw activities: grinding, bruxism,
- Orofacial movement disorders,
- Behavioral disorders: stress, depression, somatization,
- Major incompatibilities in the jaw relations,
- Major discrepancies in dental occlusion,
- Unknown factors.
How Do I Know My TMJ Discomfort?
- Have you had any unusual pain?
- When you open and close your jaw, do you hear a clicking, clicking or clicking sound?
- Do you have pain or ache in these areas? Jaw joints, lower jaw, upper jaw, neck, back of head, forehead, temples.
- Do you have congestion, pressure or excessive dirt secretion in your ear?
- Do you make sounds such as ringing or roaring in your ears?
- Have you felt dizzy before?
- Do you have chills or numbness in your hands, fingers, or arms?
- Do you always tire easily or do you think you have chronic fatigue?
- Do you have any traces of your teeth on the side of your tongue?
- Does your tongue go between your teeth when you swallow?
- Do you have trouble chewing food?
- Have you had tooth loss in the posterior region?
- Do you grind your teeth at night or during the day?
- Do you grind your teeth at night while you sleep? (Ask your family)
- Have you ever woken up with a toothache?
- Have you ever had a neck injury?
- Have you ever had a blow to the jaw, face or head?
- Have the drugs ever stopped working on your pain for a long time?
- Do your symptoms get worse while chewing?
- Do you have pain when you open and close your mouth while bringing your fingers into your ears and pressing them?
- Does your jaw slide to the right or left when you open your mouth?
- When you open your mouth, can your first 3 fingers go straight in?
- Do you have asymmetry on your face?
If your answer to most of these questions is “Yes”, you may have TMJ disease.