TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint, a disorder of the jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles leading to recurring pain, muscle spasms, and weight loss. In the joint between the jawbone and the skull, the function of the temporomandibular joint is impaired, affecting daily activities.
Temporomandibular joint inflammation causes many difficulties in eating and drinking of patients, directly affecting work efficiency and quality of life. Therefore, effective TMJ treatments are what they always want to know. Temporomandibular joint disease is a fairly common disease that can affect anyone. However, pubertal and postmenopausal women have a higher incidence.
Causes Of Temporomandibular Joint Inflammation
If you have TMJ, it could be due to:
Rheumatoid arthritis: This causes 50% of cases of TMJ. Most patients with this disease are mainly elderly, not only in the temporomandibular joint, but many other joints have also degenerated.
+ Injuries to the maxillofacial region: Injuries to the maxillofacial region caused by traffic accidents or unintentional falls during vigorous exercise also cause TMJ.
+ Jaw joint movements: When opening your mouth too wide quickly and suddenly, or grinding your teeth, chewing gum. These actions seem harmless but have a significant impact, and they can squeeze the jaw and increase pressure on the temporomandibular joint, causing inflammation.
+ Misaligned teeth: This is also the reason for temporomandibular joint inflammation.
Mandibular Arthritis Symptoms
- Symptoms of each person’s disease will be different. Some people only have inflammation on one side of the jaw, and some people on both sides. At the beginning of the disease, there is only mild pain, which can go away on its own without treatment. However, when the disease is advanced, the pain is not only more severe but also appears with a dense frequency, especially when eating.
- Not only in the jaw joint area, but the disease can also appear in the ear and surrounding area. In particular, when opening the mouth or chewing, there will be a crackling sound in the jaw joint, so the patient must close the mouth tilted to one side, causing an uneven bite. This makes the patient feel pain and difficulty eating by moving the mouth.
- In addition, when suffering from temporomandibular joint disease, patients may experience headaches, ear, and temple pain, neck fatigue, swollen lymph nodes under the chin, and swollen chewing muscles that make a face unbalanced.
- Once there is a pain in the temporomandibular joint, which is more severe than when eating plus the clicking sound, the disease has become unbearable and cannot be cured by itself. Right now, you must get treatment to limit possible serious complications such as dislocation or ankylosing spondylitis. If not treated or treated in time, it will cause the head of the bone to be destroyed, the joint to become stiff, make it difficult to open the mouth, and even unable to open the mouth anymore.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health, TMJ treatments can be reversible whenever possible. That means the treatment should not cause permanent changes to the jaw or teeth. Irreversible treatments have not been proven to work and may worsen the problem.
+ Over-the-counter pain medications
+ Prescription medications
+ Gentle jaw stretching and relaxation exercises
+ Stabilization splints (biteplate, night guard)
+ Adjustment of the bite by grinding the teeth
+ Extensive dental work
+ Mandibular repositioning splints
+ Surgical procedures including replacement of all or parts of the jaw joint
Treatment of temporomandibular joint disease depends on the cause. Usually, to relieve joint pain, patients will be prescribed an appropriate pain reliever. In addition, patients will be instructed in methods such as infrared radiation, massage, and hot compress to support and shorten the treatment time.
If the disease occurs due to problems with the teeth and jaw, the patient should carry out orthodontic measures such as tooth extraction, braces, bite correction, and alveolar surgery. This method will indirectly help limit the treatment of temporomandibular joint disease and the risk of illness.
If the treatment process for TMJ is going well, the disease will clear up after only a few days. But if the disease is severe, the course of treatment will last longer, maybe a few years, but it can also be irreversible, and live with it for a lifetime.
What Should Patients Pay Attention To When Suffering From Temporomandibular Joint Disease?
When suffering from temporomandibular joint disease, patients should note the following:
+ Should eat soft foods, easy to chew and swallow and do not hurt the jaw muscles. At the same time, chew food with both sides of your jaw and limit chewing for a long time.
+ Make a habit of massaging the area under the jaw daily for 10-15 minutes.
+ Take medication as prescribed and directed by your doctor.
+ Even while being treated with drugs, it is recommended to visit the hospital regularly. If any abnormality is detected, it should be handled promptly to avoid complications.
The treatment of TMJ is vital, especially should be treated as soon as possible. If not completely cured, the disease will cause a lot of pain and discomfort, directly affect the quality of life, and can even make the joints stiff and unable to open the mouth.