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Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

What is the TMJ?

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is the joint in which the mandible (lower jaw) articulates with the base of the skull on the Temporal bone. TMJ is responsible for the up, down, left, and right movement of the mandibule.

articulation temporo-mandibulaire (ATM)

PTM (problèmes temporomandibulaires)

What is TMD?

TMJ disorder or TMD (Temporomandibular joint disorder) is a group of disorders that consist of myofascial pain, internal derangement of the joint, and/or inflammation of the joint in the form of arthritis. The aetiology of these disorders is not fully understood yet, however, habitual clenching and grinding of the teeth, trauma to the jaw, whiplash from automobile accidents, and sleep apnea can generally aggravate the problem.

The symptoms of TMD can range from muscle stiffness in the jaw and temple areas, discomfort when opening and closing the mouth, clicking, grating, or popping of the joint when in motion, radiating pain in the face and jaw areas, limited movement of the jaw or even a lock jaw, as well as migraines and headaches. There are various interventions that can be done in order to minimize these symptoms.

Bruxism Treatment

Do you know suffer from chronic pain in the jaw, face, head, neck or shoulders? This pain may be caused by a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

The temporomandibular joint is the name of the joint located on either side of your head, just in front of your ears. These joints connect your mandible to you temporal bone. The YMJ, wich can rotate and move forward, backward and side to side, is considered one of the most complex joints in the body. This joint, in combination with other muscles and ligaments, lets you chew, swallow, speak and yawn. When you have a problem with the muscle, bone or other tissue in the area in and around the TMJ, you may have a TMD.

Signs or symptoms of TMDs include pain and tenderness in or around the ear, the jaw joint, or the muscles of the jaw, face or temples. Other symptoms are problems opening or closing your mouth, and a clicking, popping, crunching or grinding noise when you chew, yawn or open your mouth. TMDs may be linked with neck pain and headaches. If you gave any of these symptoms, tell your dentist and your doctor.


plaque occlusale

Mouth Guard Occlusal Splint

In most cases, TMDs are caused by a combination of factors like jaw injuries and joint disease, such as arthritis. It is believed that bruxism and head or neck muscle tension may take TMD symptoms worse. Stress is also a possible factor. However, it is not clear if stress causes TMDs or is a result of them.

Other things that may lead to TMDs are partial or full dentures that are not the right fit and certain habits such as fingernail biting and pen or pencil biting.

Your dentist may suggest wearing a night guard, also called an occlusal splint. It is made of clear plastic and fits over the biting surfaces of the teeth of one jaw so that you bite against the splint rather than your teeth. This often helps your jaw joints and muscles to relax.

If your pain continues, your dentist may also refer you to a dental specialist with extra triaging in TMDs. This could be a specialist in oral medicine or orofacial pain.

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