During the treatment of symptoms originating from disorders of
the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and occlusion, it was found that
restoring the TMJ to its normal condition resulted in a change of
general body health. In most cases, this change was for the better.
Owing to similar reports, a connection between TMJ status and general
body health was therefore hypothesised. However, the mechanism of this
relationship remains unclear.
Researchers have identified a list of characteristics they say will eventually help health professionals identify patients who are at risk of developing temporomandibular disorders, according to a report published recently in an issue of the NYSDA news.
In following a large number of control individuals, as well as people reporting temporomandibular disorder pain, Richard Ohrbach, DDS, PhD, director of the Oral Diagnostic Sciences at the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine and a clinical psychologist, and other researchers found that a high rate of variables they assessed were associated with painful temporomandibular disorders.
What causes TMJ dysfunction?
We are all exposed to stresses in our environment.
Let us call these external stresses. A typical reaction
to these stresses is muscle contraction: tight shoulders and neck,
bailed fists, and clenched jaws. If the jaws are habitually clenched,
due to a lot of stress, anxiety, and/or frustrations, and if the teeth
do not support the jaws properly, then the jaw joints become jammed and
overclosed, causing damage to the joints. This may occur with totally
natural teeth, (even in teenagers), with partially natural plus some
false teeth; with full dentures.
TMD (TMJ disorder) is a series of signs and symptoms associated with the Temporal mandibular joints, which include:
- Jaw joint pain
- Jaw joint noise or clicking
- Limited mouth opening
- Ear congestion
- Ringing in the ear
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loose teeth
- Clenching or grinding
- Facial pain
- Sensitive teeth
- Chewing difficulties
- Neck pain
- Postural problems
- Tingling of the fingertips
- Hot & cold sensitivity of teeth
- Nervousness or insomnia
TMJ disorders and their associated pain consequences are being
recognized more and more by the prevention-oriented health care
“Doctor, I was fine until I had my braces on, but now I think I
have TMJ.” In every orthodontic practice, this situation arises
consistently and with alarming regularity. TMJ disorder is one of the
most common problems affecting millions of people each year. Read more.
TMJ is the abbreviation of Temporo-mandibular Joint, which is the joint
that connects the jawbone to the skull. Every human has one of these
joints on each side of the head, somewhere around the ear. Anything that
you do to move your jaw requires these joints to function properly.
That means you can’t eat, talk, or even smile and frown without
functioning TMJ. Place your fingers in front of or inside the ear canals, try opening and closing your mouth to detect the movement of TMJ.
TMJ is a
“loose-fitting”, rotating and sliding joint with a fibrocartilage
covered, football shaped ball (condyle), fibrous pad (disc),
fibrocartilage lined socket (fossa), ligaments, tendons, blood vessels