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Jaw Joint Problems

The Problem

 
 
   Temporomandibular disorders are a family of problems related to our complex jaw joint. Since some types of TM joint disorders can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.  Your temporomandibular joints are where your upper and lower jaws meet.  Like gears of a car, the joints have moving parts that allow the lower jaw to move.  Because muscles and joints work together, a problem with one can lead to uncomfortable results such as joint stiffness, headaches, pain, bite problems, clicking sounds or locked joints.

Do you have a TMJ Problem? Try this Questionnaire.
 

The Evaluation

 
 

    A joint evaluation will include a complete history of your problem, X-rays to evaluate for joint damage, fractures or tumors, a physical exam to check for muscle tension and tenderness, as well as joint mobility.

 

 
 

    Depending on the cause of the problem, treatment might include one or all of the following, an occlusal splint, jaw exercises, mobilization, and appropriate medications.  Treatment is directed at trying to get the joints and muscles to work in harmony.  From biting and talking, to chewing and yawning, your TM joint always comes into play.  With the right diagnosis and treatment, most people do find relief from their pain and symptoms.

 

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