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TMJ (Temporo-mandibular joint) disorders are diseases of the joint that connect lower jaw to the skull. These TMJ problems can result from injury, aging, and poor dental behavior like frequent gum chewing, teeth grinding, and teeth clenching. Although the presence of one of these symptoms does not necessarily indicate the presence of a TMJ disorder, common symptoms of TMJ disorders include:

  • Clicking sound in the joint during jaw movement
  • Limited movement of the jaw
  • Earaches and headaches
  • Pain in the joint during hard chewing
  • Hearing problems
  • Pain in the face, jaw, neck, or shoulders
  • Loose teeth
  • Worn, chipped, or cracked teeth or fillings
  • Clenching or grinding
  • Facial pain
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Pain and sensitivity in teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Ringing or congestion in the ears

From a medical perspective, TMJ problems are classified into three main groups of disorders: muscle disorders, joint derangement disorders, and degenerative joint disorders.

  • Muscle disorders describes TMJ problems located in the muscles that control the TMJ. These disorders are often called myofacial disorders and are the most common of the TMJ disorders.
  • Joint derangement disorders are a group of TMJ problems that is caused by either: a dislocated jaw, a displaced disk, or an injured bone.
  • Degenerative joint disorders are a group of TMJ problems that is caused by degenerative changes in the joint like arthritis that destroy the cartilage that cover the TMJ and absorbs the shocks caused by such actions as chewing. Degenerative joint disorders stem from the wear and tear of the TMJ joints.

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms and are also experienced prolonged pain, it is highly recommended that you consult a doctor. Once, your doctor has confirmed the presence of a TMJ disorder, the next step is treatment. Depending on the type of disorder that you are suffering from and the extent of it, you will undergo specific treatment.

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