Temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects your upper and lower jaw. It is located just in front of the ears and there are two TMJs one on each side. TMJ is a ball-and-socket joint. There are ligaments around the TMJ which hold the joint in place. If these ligaments are loose the joint can get dislocated. Temporomandibular disorder can cause severe discomfort and pain. The problem may be temporary or last many years. It may affect on or both sides of your face.
The common symptoms associated with the condition are pain or tenderness in your face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide. You may find it diffcult to open your mouth wide. You may also have trouble chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite -- as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly.
Treatment of temporomandibular disorder aims to reduce the spasm in the muscles surrounding the temporomandibular so that the condyle can go back in its normal position. In most people the dislocated jaw can be corrected without local anesthetics. Some people require injection of local anesthetics in the jaw joint and muscle relaxants to relax the spasms. The problem resolves once the joint moves back into place. Pain and tenderness in the area can remain for a few days.
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