TMJ

 

Some patients suffering from facial pain, headaches, neckaches, shoulder and/or back pain often have been told they have to learn to live with their pain. When instead the pain might be caused by Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD). According to the National Institutes of Health, TMD refers to a collection of medical and dental conditions affecting the temporomandibular joint and/or the muscles of mastication (chewing muscles), as well as related tissue components.

Compentent clinicians often suggest the pain might be psychogenic, when they cannot find an organic basis for the following symptoms:

There is a classification of disease known as Musculoskeletal Dysfunction of the head and neck (MSD). MSD seems totally unrelated to symptons such as back pain or ear disorders. Yet, correction of this condition may aleviate may medical symptoms; acute or chronic diseases of the ear, nose, throat, head, neck, shoulder, and back. The syndrome is medically as well as dentally related.

Musculoskeletal Dysfunction (MSD) is one of the most misdiagnosed of the medical/dental condtions. There are two factors accounting for this sad state of affairs:

Few doctors (physicians, dentists, chiropractors, osteopaths, etc.) have proper training in the diagnosis and treatment of MSD.
These disorders have many overlapping symptons which mimic many other conditions.

Misdiagnosis the rul rather than the exception with MSD. Patients wander from specialist to specialist, depending on the type of pain and problems they experience. Symptons focusing on ear, sinuses, or swallowing problems are referred to the Otolaryngologist. Limitations of jaw movement are referred to the Orthopedist. Persistent head pains are referred to the Neurologist, etc.

As the wonderers are told and retold there seems to be no organic basis for their pain and the cause is psychogenic, their anxiety mounts. When physical findings remain obstinately in abeyance, patients my begin to suspect a brain tumor, turn to drugs to alleviate their symptons, or on rare occasions, even contemplate suicide.
 
      Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
 
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ) is often the result of Musculoskeletal Dysfunction (MSD) of the head and neck. TMS/MSD is a group of separate but related disorders of the temporomandibular joint and all the associated muscles, ligaments, nerves and supportive structures.

The TMJ’s are the two joints in front of the ears that attach the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull (cranium). Not only do the jaw joints rotate as other ball-and-socket joints, they translate (move down and forward). The disc (articular disc) is a thin piece of tissue acting as a buffer between the skull and the condyle (top of the mandible).

When intact, they are the only joints in the human body that work together as a unit. These joints, often taken for granted, allow us to perform functions such as opening and closing the mouth, chewing, swallowing, breathing, kissing, talking, etc. Problems that can occur with the TMJ are arthritis, trauma, tumors, tearing or dislocation of the disc. The TMJ’s and the mandibular complex are able to function and move by means of innervated muscle, tissue, and ligaments that are the connectin components between the lower jaw (mandible) and the skull (cranium). There often can be accompanying muscle spasms the effect temporomandibular disorders (TMD) which often are diagnosed as Fibromyalgia or Myofascial Pain Dysfunction. You may experience joint problems, muscle problems or both.

 
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