The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts like a sliding hinge between your skull and your jaw. TMJ joints lie on either side of your jaw and act in unison to attach the jaw to your skull. Temporomandibular joint disorders can cause pain in your jaw joint, head and neck, and can inhibit jaw movement. TMJ treatment varies in nature.
The cause of TMJ disorders is often hard to pinpoint. Genetics, arthritis or jaw injury are established as the leading causes of TMJ disorders. In most cases, pain associated with temporomandibular joint disorders is fleeting and can often be managed with physical therapy and non-invasive treatments. Surgery is typically a last resort, but some people with advanced TMJ disorders may benefit from such treatments.
During diagnosis of your condition, your dentist will often listen to and explore your jaw when you open and close your mouth. They will identify specific areas of discomfort by pressing on the joint and may perform a dental X-Ray, CT scan or MRI scan if more information is needed about the patient’s anatomy.