TMJ, found on each side of the jaw, connects the lower jaw to the skull. TMJ moves in a rotating action and gliding action. Rotating action is related to the mouth's opening and closing action while the gliding action permits the mouth to open broader. The coordination of these two actions is necessary for talking, chewing and yawning.
Temporomandibular joint or TMJ syndrome or disorder is a medical problem in the joint. Patients experience pain in the neck, head, face and ears. Patients might encounter problems in biting, popping sounds in biting, difficulty to open the jaw, and jaw lock.
TMJ syndrome is usually caused by teeth grinding and clenching, joint degeneration, and rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation of the joints may also be caused by habits of gum chewing, fingernail biting, dental problems, misalignment of the teeth, and previous history of fractures in the jaw. Stress and occupational tasks via the head and shoulders are likewise considered associated causes of TMJ. Likewise, the dislocation of the disc that performs as a cushion connecting the ball and the socket could cause the disorder.
Symptoms for TMJ include the following signs:
- Headache, listed as one of the most universal symptoms for TMJ, is experienced by about 80% of patients with TMJ. Headache becomes worse when the individual tries to open and close the jaws. Headache is triggered when something very cold is sensed by the jaw like cold drinks, cold weather and cold air. Headache can augment muscle contraction in addition to facial muscle pains.
- Ear pains are not all caused by infections. As one of the symptoms for TMJ, individuals who encounter frequent or recurring ear pain in the front of the ear or just below the ear must visit the doctor for diagnosis. About 50% of patients experience this symptom among the other symptoms for TMJ.
- Do you hear popping sounds, grinding sounds and crunching sounds? As one age, the jaw experiences wear and tear. If you have the habits of teeth clenching and grinding or is already in the old age, consider calling for an appointment with a doctor.
Lastly, it is important to watch out for sensitivity to light, bloodshot eyes, watery eyes, blurred vision, pressure behind the eyes and pain on top of, underneath and at the back in the eyes.
When you have experienced any of these symptoms for TMJ, do not hesitate to consult your doctor. Seek medical help to avoid suffering from more than one of the symptoms for TMJ. Get medication and get treated without difficulty.