If you have jaw and facial pain, you are not alone. Many adults suffer from symptoms such as pain in the jaw and around the ear, clicks or sounds when opening and/or closing the mouth, and neck pain.
There are two jaw joints called TMJ (temporomandibular joints) and various muscles and nerves, tendons and ligaments that make it possible to open and close the mouth. These temporomandibular joints are very complex joints, as they must be for the range of motion of the jaw.
The TMJ is one of the most common joints in your body. You use them for chewing, talking and yawning and for many facial expressions. The TMJ is a spherical joint, but they also have the ability to slide and rotate from side to side and back and forth.
They are also very strong joints, so you have the bite pressure you need to eat. All of this force is transmitted to the intervertebral disc in the joint between the jaw and skull. This disc is very similar to the one you have on your back and can cause problems for some people, like those on your back.
Since the TMJ is made up of so many different components, it’s easy to see that several issues can arise that prevent the joint from functioning properly. If someone has a TMJ disorder, it can lead to a very painful condition that can affect many of the surrounding body parts.
However, many other conditions can cause pain in the same areas and often make an adequate diagnosis difficult but very important. The source of the pain could be a sinus problem, a toothache, or even an early stage of periodontal disease, to name a few of the possible causes of the same symptoms. Every dentist can identify the source of this pain with a thorough examination and appropriate X-rays.
There are many different TMJ treatments that could be suggested and would generally go through different treatment steps, starting with the more conservative options. In many cases, your TMJ can be cured with TMJ therapy or TMJ exercises that include stress reduction exercises.
Some of the other treatment steps that might be suggested by a doctor, use a surgical mask or TMJ guard to protect your teeth, crunching while sleeping, medicines for pain and inflammation, and even surgery. But certainly, the best place to start is to treat your condition with a TMJ therapy treatment that starts with simple exercises that stretch and then repair and strengthen your TMJ.