TMJ is the anatomical abbreviation for temporomandibular joint, which is a joint that connects your jaw to the rest of your head. TMD is a common abbreviation for temporomandibular disorder, which occurs when there is a problem with the joint itself. However, TMJ and TMD are often used interchangeably to refer to problems in this area, even by those in the dental and the medical fields. This can be confusing for patients, but the doctors and the team of oral healthcare professionals at R. Boyd Gilleland DDS, located near you in Port Charlotte, want to educate their patients, current and new, on the symptoms and the treatments for this common, and painful, condition.
Although TMJ is referred to as one joint, there are two hinge points in front of each ear. TMJ is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the base of the skull. It allows for the movement for us to form words, to chew food and to open the mouth for breathing. TMJ is one of the most frequently used joints of the body.
TMJ can rotate, glide and hinge all at the same time within its socket.
TMD, the disorder, occurs when the series of tendons, muscles and the joint pads become inflamed causing chronic facial pain, headaches, and earaches. Like most medical professionals, this article will refer to TMD as TMJ disorder.
TMJ disorders affect many people in different ways, and many sufferers go to a variety of doctors before realizing their pain is originating from the TMJ (the joint). Some of the symptoms can include:
Unlike other conditions, patients often get frustrated with visits to an ENT doctor for the earache, to the dentist for the tooth pain, and to the neurologist for the headache.
If any of the above symptoms are experienced, it is advisable to begin with your dentist for the initial diagnosis. Be sure to describe all symptoms and not just the ones you feel are pertinent to a dentist. A dentist trained in the conditions of TMJ disorders is the proper choice within the medical field to physically inspect the jawbone and to examine the bite as the jaws come together.
Below is the list of common treatment options in the order one should approach a TMJ disorder. All treatments should be a work in progress between a dentist, a TMJ disorder specialist and an ENT doctor.
TMJ disorder is a complicated condition, and it may take one or more of the above treatment options to manage the symptoms or to completely heal the ailments.
If you believe you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this article and would like a consultation regarding TMJ disorders, then please contact the oral healthcare professionals at R. Boyd Gilleland DDS, located in Port Charlotte, where new patients are always welcome.
R. Boyd Gilleland DDS is trusted and highly recommended in managing the symptoms of TMJ disorders, as well as other treatments and procedures in general and restorative dentistry.