Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ): All You Need to Know

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ): All You Need to Know

Jan 04, 2022

The jaws are the bones that contain the teeth and help them carry out their functions by moving in opposition. You might feel pain and discomfort in the jaw. This pain might obstruct your teeth from performing their normal functions. Pain in the jaw might result from minor issues like asymmetry problems and open bite from malocclusion. However, it would help if you never dismissed pain in the jaw because it might indicate a worse condition known as Temporomandibular joint disorder.

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a dysfunction that occurs when the muscles and ligaments around your jaw joints become inflamed or irritated. When this happens, you feel discomfort, pain, and compromised movement of the jaw joints and the surrounding muscles. The temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects the skull to the jawbone. It is responsible for the activities of the jaw, and it assists in carrying out jaw functions. When this joint is inflamed or irritated, the resulting condition is chronic or acute, leading to mild or severe pain.

Causes Of TMD

The exact cause of the inflammation/irritation of the muscles and ligaments around the jaw joints is unknown. However, several factors are linked to the pain associated with temporomandibular disorder, which might serve as risk factors. These include:

  • Arthritis in the jaw: The pain and stiffness caused by the inflammation of one or more joints. If there is arthritis of the temporomandibular joint, it leads to temporomandibular joint disorder.
  • Stress: Being stressed can cause you to tighten or clench your jaw or facial muscles, resulting in temporomandibular joint disorder.
  • Bruxism: The term for chronic and aggressive teeth clenching, which places excessive strain on the jaw and its muscles, leading to temporomandibular joint disorder.
  • The soft disc or cushion movement between the ball and socket of the joint can lead to TMD.
  • Malocclusion: The misalignment of the teeth or jaw can cause TMD.

Symptoms Of TMD

The following are signs that suggest you seeing a dentist near you because you might have a temporomandibular joint disorder.

  • Swelling of a side of the face
  • Pain and discomfort while chewing, speaking, or opening the mouth wide
  • Locking of the jaw in an open or closed-mouth position
  • Earache or ear pain
  • Malocclusion; open bite, underbite, overbite, crossbite, etc.
  • Toothache

If you feel these symptoms, visit us at Complete Health Dentistry Of The Emerald Coast for immediate diagnosis and treatment if you feel these symptoms.

Treatments For TMD

There are different forms of TMJ treatment in Shalimar, FL. These include conservative treatment methods, therapy, medications, and surgery. These treatment methods aim to ease the pain that comes with the temporomandibular joint disorder through different procedures.

Conservative Treatment

When you opt for TMJ treatment near you, conservative methods of treating TMD may be the first option recommended to you. These methods include:

  • Eat Soft Foods: Taking a break from hard foods prevents your jaw from working overtime. Avoiding hard and crunchy foods can help cure TMJ.
  • Apply Moist Heat Or Cold Packs: Applying an ice pack to the side of your face for about 10 minutes can help ease acute pain.
  • Avoid Extreme Jaw Movement: Avoid activities that might cause you to strain your jaw.
  • Wear A Splint Or Nightguard: When wearing these mouthpieces, your bite is corrected, and your jaws are placed in a more favorable position.


  • Radio Wave Therapy: This procedure increases blood flow and provides TMJ relief.
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS): This process helps to reduce pain by relaxing the facial muscles and jaw joints.
  • Low-Level Laser Therapy: This procedure helps you lower pain and inflammation.
  • Ultrasound: When deep heat is applied to the joint, it can relieve soreness and improve mobility.


Medications for TMD include sedatives, muscles relaxant, nerve pain medications, analgesics, and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Surgical Procedure

Surgical procedures for the temporomandibular joint disorder include:

  • Arthroscopy.
  • Open-joint surgery.
  • Arthrocentesis.

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