The temporomandibular joint is among the body’s most complex anatomy. When something goes wrong with it, it can lead to complications and pain. At Sleep Apnea and TMJ Solutions in Brentwood TN, we specialize in TMJ disorder.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is what connects the jaw to the skull. We all use it every day without a second thought, in order to speak, eat, laugh, or kiss a loved one. The causes of TMJ disorder, or TMD, can be hard to pin down, and are often a combination of factors.
The most common TMJ disorders are:
- Joint and Disc Displacement, or a dislocated jaw. The result of a trauma or injury, a dislocated jaw makes it painful just to open your mouth, let alone bite or chew food. If treated early, the joint can sometimes be repositioned manually. A splint can keep it in its correct position as it heals. Other treatments include using a passive device that gradually increases jaw movement. Medication can help with pain management.
- Muscle Complications. The muscles that move the jaw bone can become stressed from clenching or grinding the teeth, from head or neck injuries, sleep disorders, or even from opening the jaw too wide. This happens most often in women in their early twenties. Treatments include ice packs, eating soft foods, and not opening the mouth too wide as you recover. Wearing a night guard when you sleep can also help. Additional treatments include physical therapy, medication, and stress management.
- Arthritis. Arthritis can affect the TMJ, just like any other joint. Some twenty-seven million people have arthritis, according to national figures. In the case of the TMJ, it usually occurs when the disc portion of the TMJ is missing or deformed. Treatment involves resting the jaw, analgesics for pain management, and in some cases, a splint for muscle tightness.
As with any condition, proper diagnosis is essential. If you or a loved one has TMJ pain, don’t put it off; contact Sleep Apnea and TMJ Solutions in Brentwood TN for treatment. We also specialize in sleep apnea and snoring.
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