Plaza of Cosmetic Dentistry
Joseph Goodman, DDS, DMD
Call today (310) 860-9311
241 1/2 South Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, Ca. 90212
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD or TMD), or TMJ syndrome, is an umbrella term covering acute or chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, which connects the mandible to the skull. The disorder and resultant dysfunction can result in significant pain and impairment. Because the disorder transcends the boundaries between several health-care disciplines—in particular, dentistry and neurology—there are a variety of treatment approaches. The temporomandibular joint is susceptible to many of the conditions that affect other joints in the body, including ankylosis, arthritis, trauma, dislocations, developmental anomalies, neoplasia and reactive lesions.
An older name for the condition is "Costen's syndrome", after James B. Costen, who partially characterized it in 1934. Signs and symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder vary in their presentation and can be very complex, but are often simple. On average the symptoms will involve more than one of the numerous TMJ components: muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, bones, connective tissue, and the teeth. Ear pain associated with the swelling of proximal tissue is a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder.
Symptoms associated with TMJ disorders may be
- Biting or chewing difficulty or discomfort
- Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
- Dull, aching pain in the face
- Earache (particularly in the morning)
- Headache (particularly in the morning)
- Hearing loss
- Migraine (particularly in the morning)
- Jaw pain or tenderness of the jaw
- Reduced ability to open or close the mouth
- Neck and shoulder pain
Unlike a typical finger or vertebral junctions, each TMJ actually has two joints, which allows it to rotate and to translate (slide). With use, it is common to see wear of both the bone and cartilage components of the joint. Clicking is common, as are popping and deviations in the movements of the joint. Pain is the most conventional signifier of TMD.
The surfaces in contact with one another (bone and cartilage) do not have any receptors to transmit the feeling of pain. The pain therefore originates from one of the surrounding soft tissues, or from the trigeminal nerve itself, which runs through the joint area. When receptors from one of these areas are triggered, the pain can cause a reflex to limit the mandible's movement. Furthermore, inflammation of the joints or damage to the trigeminal nerve can cause constant pain, even without movement of the jaw.
Due to the proximity of the ear to the temporomandibular joint, TMJ pain can often be confused with ear pain. The pain may be referred in around half of all patients and experienced as otalgia (earache).Conversely, TMD is an important possible cause of secondary otalgia.Treatment of TMD may then significantly reduce symptoms of otalgia and tinnitus as well as atypical facial pain.
The dysfunction involved is most often in regards to the relationship between the condyle of the mandible and the disc. The sounds produced by this dysfunction are usually described as a "click" or a "pop" when a single sound is heard and as "crepitation" or "crepitus" when there are multiple, rough sounds
- Heat pack
- Limited mouth opening, do not open to the maximum, carefully with overstretching, yawning
- No chewing gum
- Individual Night guard done by a professional Dentist
If you or someone you know experiences severe tooth, jaw or facial muscle pain, it may be from the effect of grinding or clenching your teeth. An effective solution, night guards offset the wearing down of your teeth. A night guard is a proactive step to protect your existing healthy teeth. A clear, thin removable device, your custom-made splint is worn over your lower or upper teeth as you sleep. Although it will feel like a mouthful, you’ll get used to the feeling within a week. Studies suggest those who grind and clench their teeth may experience up to 80 times the normal tooth wear per day compared to those who do not.
Over 50 million Americans annually have headaches so severe that they seek medical help. Most of these people state that their head pain is a disruptive force in their daily lives. The majority of these patients suffer from neuromuscular problems with the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ). Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) is a group of separate but related disorders of the temporomandibular joint and all the associated muscles and ligaments, nerves, etc. After a thorough examination, we will recommend which type of TMJ treatment is needed for your condition. A night guard alleviates the majority of TMJ pain.