Temporomandibular Joint Pain (TMJ, Jaw Pain)
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects our jaw bone to the temporal bone of the skull.
The TMJ is a hinging and sliding joint that allows movement of the jaw from side to side as well as up and down. This is necessary for us to talk, chew and yawn.
Jaw pain and issues with facial muscles that control the joint commonly result in TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder). TMD is a very common musculoskeletal condition.
Injury to the temporomandibular muscle or the muscle of the head and neck can also lead to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction.
Other causes of TMJ include:
- Arthritis in the joint, which damages the temporomandibular joint cartilage.
- Stress and anxiety that leads to the tightening of the facial and jaw muscles.
- Bruxism is excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching. Sleep bruxism might increase symptoms of temporomandibular joint syndrome.
SYMPTOMS of TMJ Disorders include:
- Pain in the jaw, neck and shoulder, sometimes extending to the ear when the patient chews or opens the mouth wide or speaks.
- The jaw gets locked, making it difficult to open the mouth in some cases
- A tired feeling in the face
- Pain during chewing or when taking a bite
- Swelling on one side of the face
- Headache especially pain in the back of the head
- Clicking or popping noises from the joint during mandibular (jaw) movement
- A Sensation of malocclusion (feeling that the teeth do not meet together properly)
DIAGNOSIS OF TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT DYSFUNCTION
A physical examination by your doctor or dentist will usually identify the position of the pain and motion of the jaw.
An X-ray to provide a detailed image of the TMJ or possibly an MRI may also be useful in complex cases.
TREATMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF TMD
Temporomandibular Joint Self-Care
Moist Heat: moist heat from a towel can help improve the muscular function and reduce pain, the patient should be careful with hot water to prevent being burnt.
Ice pack: this can help reduce and pains in the muscles surrounding the TMJ. The patient should not directly place an ice pack on their skin but wrapped in a clean towel.
Soft food: a patient with jaw pain should temporarily eat soft food to reduce the stress placed on the jaw.
Medications of TMJ Pain
For many people, short-term use of over-the-counter pain medications or anti-inflammatory medications may provide temporary relief from jaw pain and muscle discomfort. When necessary, your doctor might prescribe stronger pain or anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, or even antidepressants to help ease symptoms
Additional Treatments For TMJ Pain
For many patients, dental splints and physiotherapy also give very good results.
For more complex TMJ jaw pain, The Pain Relief Clinic adopts a biomedical targeted approach.
This allows us to provide a treatment strategy that targets the root causes of your condition using medical technology in a comprehensive and cost-effective way.
Depending on your specific condition, some of the useful options that can give very good results include nanotechnology and Indiba Therapy.
Simply call us at +65 6732 2397 or leave a message below for Dr Tan to discuss a customized non-invasive solution for you.
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The 7 Day Pain Recovery Program
Dr. Terence Tan
Pain Association of Singapore,
Singapore Medical Association
Call for Appointments
+65 6732 2397
350 Orchard Road
#10-00 Shaw House
Medical Suites @ Orchard
Singapore 238 868