Jaw pain is undoubtedly among the most common symptoms of temporomandibular joint or TMJ disorder. The TMJ is located where the skull joins the jaw. The joint can easily qualify as the most complex joint in the body given the fact that it connects an area with plenty of ligaments, muscles and nerves.
The complex nature of the joint compounds the potential for problems considering the joint is one of the most frequently used joints in the entire body. For instance, the joint is used when eating & chewing food, swallowing as well as talking.
Considering a person uses the joint approximately 300 times a day when swallowing, it is easy to see why the joint is among the most frequently used joints in the body. Other activities which engage the temporomandibular joint include teeth clenching which takes place during the day and/or at night.
A person is said to have a TMJ disorder when the protective disc in their jaw dislocates. When this happens, the lower jaw tends to re-position further back. This abnormal positioning of the jaw forces the muscles and ligaments in the region to work harder to maintain jaw stability. The additional stain results in inflammation which in turn causes pain around and in the jaw.
The pain can last for a few months to years attracting more serve symptoms i.e. extreme tension, more inflammation and more pain. In severe cases, individuals with a TMJ disorder may have difficulty eating or even speaking because mouth movements are extremely limited.
TMJ disorders can be treated by a properly trained dentist. Treatment is focused on fixing mis-alignments of the jaw to eliminate strain on soft tissues, muscles and ligaments around the TMJ region. Treatment also reduces inflammation eliminating all TMJ disorder symptoms.
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