Temporomandibular joint disorders are among the most common dental afflictions in the United States. In fact, it is estimated that some 10 million people suffer from Temporomandibular joint disorders or TMJ, and it seems to be more common in women than men.
TMJ disorders impact the temporomandibular joint, the joints and muscles of the jaw that make it possible to open and close the mouth. Situated on each side of the head, the Temporomandibular joints and muscles work together when doing any activity that involves opening and closing the mouth, including:
Temporomandibular joint disorders and the way that people respond to them vary widely; however, these conditions fall into three main categories:
A person may experience one or more of these conditions at one time.
The signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders vary from person to person, and can include:
The exact reason TMJ disorders develop is not known; however, it is believed that trauma to the temporomandibular joint does play a role. People who grind their teeth are more prone to Temporomandibular joint disorders, as are people who suffer from arthritis. Because these conditions are more common in women than in men, scientists think that female hormones may play a role in the development of TMJ disorders.
In order to diagnose TMJ disorders, your dentist will need to perform a through physical exam. During the exam, your dentist will likely:
There are a number of treatment options available for TMJ disorders. They can include oral splints, mouth guards, physical therapy, arthrocentesis, Temporomandibular joint arthroscopy and open-joint surgery.
At Ericsson Dental, Dr. Ericsson performs a thorough evaluation of your jaw to make an accurate diagnosis of TMJ and determine the best possible treatment option for your particular case.