The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a flexible joint that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. The joint allows you to move your jaw up and down and side to side.
If there are any problems occurring in your jaw and the muscles in your face that controls it, they are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). It is often called TMJ, after the joint. What causes TMD isn’t known. Dentists believe that their symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of your jaw or with the parts of the joint itself.
TMD 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 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. You will be advised to eat soft or liquid diet for several days to reduce jaw movement and stress on it.
Prognosis of temporomandibular joint is good. The dislocated ball of the joint can be returned into the socket. If the joint undergoes recurrent dislocation you may need surgery.
Read more articles on Dislocation of the TMJ.
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