TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint”. This is the joint that attaches your jawbone to your skull. The temporomandibular joint is responsible for the movement of your mouth when you speak, eat, smile, chew, and drink. TMD can greatly disrupt your life since it affects so many daily activities.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is caused by a dysfunction of the joint. When the TMJ ligament becomes irritated, malpositioned, inflamed, or is otherwise damaged, TMD causes issues like headaches, joint stiffness, and other painful symptoms.
There are several different things that can cause TMJ/TMD. Teeth grinding (bruxism) is a common cause of TMD. When you grind your teeth excessively, additional pressure is put on the TMJ joint, which can lead to irritation, inflammation, and pain. This disorder can also be caused by some kinds of arthritis, as well as direct damage to your jaw. If your jaw is impacted during an accidental injury, for example, your temporomandibular joint could be knocked out of place, or damaged.
There are many different options for TMJ treatment. Corticosteroid injections are effective for treating some more serious types of TMJ, while more minor cases may resolve with anti-inflammatory medications, and rest. TMJ caused by bruxism can be treated with mouthguards. Custom mouthguards protect your teeth from direct contact, resulting in lessened stress on the temporomandibular joint. In some cases, oral surgery is required to restore the joint, but this is typically only required in extremely severe cases of TMJ caused by impact injuries such as car accidents.