The temporomandibular joint(TMJ) is the proper term used to refer to the jaw join. It includes the jaw bone, which is the mandible, and the bone above the mouth, the maxilla. The TMJ is responsible for allowing the mouth to open and close when you do things like talk and eat. It is used constantly throughout the day. This can lead to serious wear and tear over the years. A large percentage of the population suffers from frequent jaw pain. This can be caused by or the symptom of several different things.
The TMJ is not as simple as it might seem from the outside. It contains the bones themselves, but also tendons and muscles. These must all work together to allow everything to move in unison. Unfortunately, these are all prone to pain as well. Narrowing down the causes of jaw pain can be tough without first figuring out which part of the TMJ is actually in pain.
Arthritis In The Jaw.
The TMJ can be affected by traumatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis(RA), and infectious arthritis. All of these conditions can result in serious and lasting jaw pain. The problem can become so severe that it makes it nearly impossible to speak or eat without experiencing pain and discomfort.
Around seventeen percent of children and adults suffer from rheumatoid arthritis in the jaw. However, RA is much more common in other joints in the body. Regardless, the symptoms are still the same. The patient can experience swelling, serious pain, and reducing mobility. It can be extremely difficult to spot because symptoms won’t always appear in an X-ray until the later stages of the condition.
Treatment of RA in the TMJ is also similar to treatment of RA anywhere else in the body. The proper treatment will depend on how far along the condition is in its development. If it is caught early on, then it can be treated NSAIDs. Wearing a mouth guard at night can help reduce the symptoms during the day. If it’s caught late, we recommend going to Tampa Oral Surgeon Solutions.
Here’s a video of someone getting their wisdom teeth removed:
TMD is an actually an umbrella term. It is used to refer to several different conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint as well as the surrounding nerves, tendons, and muscles. Some variations can occur when the mouth is opened and closed improperly causing it to twist in the process.
Statistics show that women are at twice the risk of developing a TMD as male patients. It is also the most common type of facial pain experienced that is not dentistry related (though it can be the cause of dental conditions at times).
TMD may be a symptom of a facial injury, improperly aligned teeth, or even arthritis as discussed above. Stress can also be a leading risk factor for developing a TMD. Finally, even the simple things you do on a daily basis, such as talking and chewing can eventually lead to one of the many TMD conditions.
Consult A Dentist When Pain Persists.
Occasional jaw pain isn’t necessarily a reason to fret as it happens to a lot of people. However, if the pain persists for several days or reaches a point where it makes it difficult to eat, swallow, or speak, then you should immediately contact your dentist and schedule an appointment.