When you talk about people with TMJ, you’re basically thinking about jaw pain and how to treat it. Fortunately, this is usually not serious, and there are several methods to put into practice to stop the pain and prevent it from becoming a troublesome problem.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are the most common cause of orofacial pain. Articulation is often unrecognized, the ATM is at the origin of many controversies concerning the etiology and the management of its pathologies. The purpose of this article is to summarize the current data, to allow an optimal diagnosis and management.
The causes of TMJ
One of the main causes is grinding your teeth or clenching your jaws during the day and at night. This action can use the small disc that helps to absorb the tension emanating from the movements of the jaw.
If there is erosion, misalignment, or damage to this disc, then you may feel pain or slap when the jaw moves.
You can also develop TMJ if the cartilage of the joint is damaged by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, if there is a lesion in the joint, or if the muscles of the joint give way by cringing or clenching the jaws.
TMJ Pain Symptoms:
Severe headaches similar to migraine
Tinnitus is the ears
Squeak, click, click when opening and closing your mouth
Limited opening, jaw locking, or dislocation of the jaw
Pain or stiffness in the neck
Pain when closing teeth on top of each other
Fatigue on the chin while chewing
Difficulty and pain when yawning or chewing gum
NSAIDs anti-inflammatory drugs are most often ineffective except for acute pain associated with capsulitis.
Muscle relaxants and antidepressants: Muscle relaxants at low dosages can relieve acute pain by releasing spasms. In chronic forms, low dose antidepressants are effective.
Botulinum toxin: The literature has shown encouraging results with botulinum toxin injections, in patients suffering from muscle syndrome refractory to conventional treatments.
It is the treatment of the first choice in patients with an attack whether it is muscle or joint. In the vast majority of patients, this treatment alone is enough.
Surgery or splints that permanently modify the bite function are available in several centers. They are suitable for a small number of patients suffering from TMJ dysfunction. However, no long-term study assesses the utility and safety of these approaches.
They can make the pain worse, so they should be treated with caution. Research is underway on how to create invasive techniques that are highly effective, while at the same time least likely to cause harm.
The disorders of the ATM are of multifactorial origin. Informs resistant to conservative treatment, as for all chronic diseases, the management is more complex and may require a multidisciplinary and surgical approach.
It is therefore important to avoid aggressive and irreversible therapeutic approaches as first-line treatment. Treatment must be based on a sound diagnosis.