Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) Disorders

TMJ DisordersTMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull.

TMJ disorders include a variety of conditions that cause tenderness and pain in the temporomandibular joint. Your TMJ is the ball-and-socket joint on each side of your head where your lower jawbone (mandible) joins the temporal bone of your skull. The lower jaw has rounded ends (condyles) that glide in and out of the joint socket when you talk, chew or yawn. The surfaces of the condyle and the socket of the temporal bone are covered with cartilage and separated by a small disk, which absorbs shock and keeps the movement smooth. The muscles that enable you to open and close your mouth stabilise this joint.

Why do TMJ disorders develop?

TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. A person might clench or grind their teeth, tightening jaw muscles and stressing the TM joint. The jaw joint may have been damaged due to injury or disease. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, a “clicking” or “grating” noise when the mouth is opened, or the inability to open the mouth fully.

Treatment

There are various treatment options that the MIC can offer to improve the harmony and function of the jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of a TMJ disorder, the doctor will determine the proper course of treatment. It is important to note that treatment always works best with a team approach, which combines self-care with professional supervision.