Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders pertain to problems involving the joint between the jaw and the skull, and the muscles associated with it. Disorders of the temporomandibular joint affect more than 10 million Americans, based on conservative estimates.
Do you have temporomandibular joint disorder?
Most people who have a problem with this joint, which is located in front of the ear on either side of the face, do not know there is dysfunction. Do you hear a popping sound, or feel pain on that part of the face when you chew or yawn? Does this happen often, and is the pain localized to the spot? Then, it is probably a TMJ problem, and you should already see a doctor to treat it. According to Salt Lake City doctors, TMJ, if left untreated, the symptoms can worsen, and you will suffer from difficulty while speaking and talking.
What are the signs you may have temporomandibular joint problems?
Aside from the popping or clicking noise you sometimes hear when you open and close your mouth, you might feel some discomfort when opening your mouth. This may pass, and the grating sound is not a constant presence, but it does not mean there is no problem with the joint anymore. Some people do experience pain along the muscles of the jaw while others suffer from frequent bouts of headache or earache.
When the problem is at a progressed state, the joint can lock, and you may have to undergo some form of surgery if the locking is severe. The prognosis is good if you seek treatment early in the curse of the condition.
What are the possible causes of the problem?
Bruxism or teeth grinding, osteoarthritis, stress, gout, malocclusion or uneven bite, fibromyalgia, and direct trauma are some the causes associated with temporomandibular joint disorder.
With prompt treatment, patients diagnosed with the condition can improve their quality of life. If you suspect you have TMJ disorder, consult with a physician near you.