TMJ Dysfunction

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is an umbrella term for mastication (chewing) muscle dysfunction, which can cause pain, restricted mandibular movement, and noises from the temporomandibular joints. Important TMJ symptoms include pain, which is intense enough to be detrimental to life quality. Between 20 and 30 percent of adult populations are affected to one degree or another. And though exercises and surgery can help, TMJ is complex and generally, cases vary.

How to help TMJ pain? It can be extreme, and since it is caused by an intricate system rather than a single cause, it can also be difficult to fix. TMJ pain includes tenderness when a doctor applies pressure to the area, and it is usually aggravated by chewing and other movement of the jaw. Though the pain is generally dull, aching and intermittent, it is often also present chronically.

Limitation in range of motion is also a fairly common symptom of the condition. It can cause difficulty with eating or even talking. There may also be locking of the jaw or muscle stiffness. For New Yorkers, who talk and walk quickly, looking into Midtown TMJ doctors for treatment is a convenient option for those in Manhattan or near Park Avenue. TMJ is a chronic condition, and the sooner you search for relief, the sooner you’ll have it. Don’t delay.

Noises coming from the movement of the jaw are another sign. TMJ symptoms are chronic and the noises can be described as popping, grating or clicking. TMJ pain can also be apparent in headaches, teeth, neck or shoulders, and diminished hearing and dizziness have also been recorded as symptoms.

The causes of TMJ are complex. Theories include genetic hormonal and anatomic factors, as well as stress and parafunctional activity (use of a body part in an unusual way). It has been shown that patients suffering from TMJ have unusual movement of the lateral pterygoid, which causes the jaw to try and compensate, potentially leading to chronic pain known as TMJ. Degenerative joint disease, bruxism (an oral parafunctional activity) and psychosocial stresses have also been suggested to play roles as well.

TMJ exercises have been proposed as a theory on how to help TMJ pain. Sitting with a knee pillow, static ankle squeezes, and standing against a wall with rolled towels at particular back positions have been suggested as successful TMJ exercises. For New Yorkers who would like more information and local treatment, midtown TMJ doctors or Park Avenue TMJ doctors are convenient options for treatment.