The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a specialized joint that connects the jawbone (mandible) to the skull’s temporal bone, which is located in front of the ear. It plays a crucial role in enabling various jaw movements, such as talking, chewing, and yawning. The TMJ is a complex joint that combines both hinge-like and sliding motions to facilitate these movements.
The temporomandibular joint disorder consists of several components:
- Mandibular condyle: This is the rounded end of the mandible that fits into the temporal bone. It helps in providing smooth movement and cushioning between the two bones.
- Articular disc: A thin, fibrous disc that separates the mandibular condyle from the temporal bone. It helps in providing smooth movement and cushioning between the two bones.
- Temporal bone: The portion of the skull that houses the socket for the mandibular condyle.
- Ligaments: Various ligaments surround and support the TMJ, providing stability and preventing excessive movement.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Problems with the TMJ can lead to a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder. TMJ can cause various symptoms, such as:
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Clicking and/or popping when opening and closing the mouth
- Difficulty opening or closing the mouth fully
- Ear pain or a feeling of fullness in the ear
- Jaw locking in an open or closed position
The exact causes of TMJ aren’t always clear, but it can involve factors such as jaw injury, arthritis, teeth grinding or clenching, stress, and improper bite alignment. Treatment for temporomandibular joint disorder can vary depending on the severity of the symptoms and the underlying cause. It can include lifestyle changes, stress reduction techniques, physical therapy, pain management, and in some cases, dental or orthodontic interventions.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you suspect you have temporomandibular joint disorder or are experiencing persistent jaw pain or related symptoms, it’s advisable to consult a medical professional or a dentist who specializes in TMJ disorders for proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations. If you’re ready to discuss temporomandibular joint disorder and live in the Calgary, AB, area, contact Aesthetic Dental Studio at 403-543-4600 to schedule your consultation.