Temporomandibular disorders are a common lifestyle disease and the term embraces a number of clinical problems that involve the masticatory musculature, the temporomandibular joint and the dental occlusion. It is a debilitating disease process also known as myofacial pain dysfunction syndrome or temporomandibular joint disorder.
Clinical and radiological assessment by a TMJ specialist is necessary to exclude other conditions like trigeminal neuralgia, migraines, cluster headaches and tension headaches, as well as middle ear pathology.
Common symptoms are pain in the masticatory muscles, temporomandibular joint sounds/noises, pain in the temporomandibular joint, limited motion in the joints/mouth opening, preauricular pain, jaw problems such as asymmetric movements of the jaw and temporomandibular locking.
There are three main components to this disease – masticatory muscles, temporomandibular joint and dental occlusion. Pain in the muscles of mastication is common, as well as dental occlusion discrepancies. Disease in the temporo mandibular joint itself is possible and internal derangement of the articular meniscus or joint disc is very common. It’s important for all the components to be assessed in a clinical and radiological examination to determine the extent of the problem before your treatment can be recommended. Your recommended treatment will depend on your individual needs and might involve your dentist, physiotherapist, orthodontist, maxillofacial surgeon and possibly a psychologist or physiatrist.
Common TMJ treatment involves dietary adjustments, bite plate therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, laser treatment, injecting of botox medication, occlussal adjustments by an orthodontist. Treatment may also involve temporomandibular joint surgery or orthognathic surgery by a maxillofacial and oral surgeon.