Bücco - Ortho guide
TMJ

TMJ

What is the temporomandibular joint?

It is a sliding and pivoting joint near the ear that allows the movements of the lower jaw. Problems may arise when the jaw pivots upon opening, closing, or lateral movement. Thus the joint and the masticatory muscles can be affected or even cause a dysfunction of the jaw called temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

Symptoms

  • Ear pain despite the absence of infection
  • Intense jaw pain in the morning or at the end of the day
  • Pain while chewing, biting or yawning
  • Clicking sound on opening and closing of the mouth
  • Difficulty in opening and closing the mouth
  • Blocking or stiffening of the jaw while speaking
  • Sensitivity of teeth without any observed dental problems

The causes

Problems with temporomandibular joints are complex and multifactorial: physical trauma, stress related, clenching / grinding of the teeth, bruxism, discrepancy between the way the teeth close together and the ideal position of the jaw.

Prevention

Avoid anything that could force or stress the joints like :

  • Excessive opening of the mouth
  • Chewing gum, biting your nails, foods that are very hard or require a lot of chewing
  • Sleeping in a position that exerts strong pressure on your mandible
  • Grinding your teeth

Treatments

Conservative: soft diet, application of heat to the face, physiotherapy, occlusal splints, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), muscle relaxants

Arthrocentesis of the TMJ (under sedation or general anesthesia), surgery, repositioning disc or meniscectomy