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Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a gigglymoarthroidal, synovial joint. It forms the cranio- mandibular articulation. It has a disc composed of fibrous cartilage.TMJ’s are essential for chewing and are the most frequently used joints in the body.

Temporomandibular joint disorder syndrome (TMDs) is a common, painful condition most commonly affects young adults, but can occur in children and older people. It can be resolved by itself, however, a small number of people may have pain for longer, sometimes lasting several months or years. When pain lasts longer than three months it is called chronic pain.

Although it is a benign musculoskeletal pain (not harmful), like any other chronic pain it may cause significant discomfort and can affect your quality of life. It can affect eating and chewing, mood and sleep.

  • TMD causes pain affecting the TMJ or the surrounding muscles or both.
  • TMD is rarely a sign of serious disease.
  • TMD is sometimes called Facial ArthroMyalgia (FAM).
  • TMD is sometimes associated with migraine or other chronic pains such as fibromyalgia, lower back pain or irritable bowel syndrome.

What are the signs and symptoms that the patient might experience?

  • Clicking or grinding noises coming from one or both of their jaws when they open or close their mouth (intracapsular condition). This is not always painful.
  • Pain, discomfort or tenderness of the jaw joints and surrounding muscles. The pain is usually a dull, tight ache, frequently felt in the preauricular area over the TMJ, but may be sharp and can occur suddenly. Unilateral-> joint associated, Bilateral-> muscles associated.
  • Locking of the jaw when opening the mouth.
  • Reduced opening of the mouth (normal opening >40mm).
  • Earache, buzzing or a feeling of ‘’fullness’’ in the ear.
  • Headache or dizziness.
  • Neck ache and other bodily pains such as backache.
  • Problems sleeping.

What other conditions that can mimic TMDs? 

Dental infections, Headache (Cluster, Migraine, Tension), Mandible dislocation, Mandible fracture, Myopathies, Sinusitis imaging, Temporal Arteritis, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Emergent management of Acute Otitis Media.

What is the treatment of  TMDs? 

There is no cure for this condition, however, there are some treatments that can help controlling the symptoms and stop the progression into worse conditions.

For more information regarding this treatment

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