What is TMJ?
TMJ is the commonly referred to condition of frequent pain, clicking, popping and locking of the jaw joint. The TMJ is actually the name of the joint, The Temporomandibular Joint. This is the joint that connects your lower jaw to your head. That is, it’s the joint between your Mandible bone (jaw bone) and Temporal bone (temple bone). Conditions involving the TMJ are called TMJ Dysfunctions or TMJD.
TMJ Joint Anatomy
The Temporomandibular Joint is very unique from other joints in the body. Not only does the TM Joint rotate like a ball and socket, but it also slides forward and backwards. Within the joint is a cartilage disk which cushions the bones like the cartilage in your knees.
TM Joint Problems: The Temporomandibular Joint can be problematic. There are two main problems with the TM Joint:
- Problems with the internal joint structures (ie. slipped disk, arthritis, torn ligaments, torn capsule ,etc.)
- Problems with the muscles that surround the joint
TMJ Clicking, Popping, Locking
TMJ clicking, popping and locking is quite common. This condition is sometimes accompanied by pain and sometimes just the sound. Treatment for this condition depends on a host of factors and you should set up a consultation for a thorough evaluation of your needs.
After correct diagnosis of the cause for your TMJ problem, treatment is aimed at the source of the problem. There are many viable therapies for the TMJ including:
- Physical Therapy
- Oral splints
- TMJ Arthrocentesis
- TMJ Arthroscopy
- Cold Laser Therapy
- Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction Protocol
- Specialized diets
- TMJ Joint Replacements