Suffering From Jaw Pain?
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) is the most common cause of orofacial pain.

The temporomandibular joint is the joint between the jaw bone and the skull. It can be felt when placing your fingers just in front of your ears while opening and closing your mouth. When this joint is causing pain, it can affect the way you eat and speak. The cause is likely due to temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

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TMD Has 3 Subtypes And All Can Co-Exist

1. Myofascial Pain Dysfunction

2. Internal Derangement

3. Degenerative Joint Disease

Myofascial Pain Dysfunction

The movement of the temporomandibular joint is under control by the muscles of mastication. There are 4 muscles of mastication; the masseter, the temporalis, the lateral pterygoid, and the medial pterygoid. When these muscles are overstressed, dysfunction can occur. Things that place stress on the muscles include; clenching the jaw, playing wind instruments, fingernail biting, grinding the teeth, prolonged opening of the mouth, and disproportionally chewing food on one side.

Symptoms May Include:

  • Pain over specific muscle(s) involved
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Muscle spasms
  • Decreased jaw range of motion
  • Associated headaches
  • Associated neck pain
Internal Derangement

The jaw bone does not articulate directly with the skull. There is actually a small articular disc, which divides the two into a superior surfaces and allows the jaw bone to glide more smoothly. Internal derangement occurs when the articular disc becomes displaced and is no longer in contact with the jaw bone.

Symptoms May Include:

  • Pain over the joint with chewing, yawning, talking, or grinding teeth
  • Jaw deviates to the problematic side when opening
  • Clicking when when moving the jaw
  • Decreased jaw range of motion
  • Associated headaches
  • Associated ear pain
Degenerative Joint Disease

Degeneration of a joint can happen due to many factors. It is often a nomal part of aging and does not always have associated symptoms. Sometimes degeneration may be due to a trauma which if not dealt with properly, could cause chronic joint dysfunction and wear at the joint cartilage over time. With temporomandibular degneration, this is often due to head trauma.

Symptoms May Include:

  • Dull achy pain over the joint with chewing, yawning, talking, or grinding teeth
  • Grating sound when opening the jaw
  • Stiffness of the jaw
  • Jaw deviates to the problematic side when opening
  • Assiciated ear pain
  • Previous history of clicking which has stopped
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