Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) arise from problems in the jaw joint, muscles, and other parts of the jaw. A common area affected by this disorder is the temporomandibular joint or TMJ. Through the years, people have been accustomed to referring TMD as TMJ due to its prevalence.
The temporomandibular joint or (TMJ) refers to the hinge joint linking the mandible or lower jaw to the skull’s temporal bone. You can find this on the front of your ear on both sides of the head. These joints are important because they allow your jaw to move up and down without difficulty. So long as the joints remain flexible, you can chew, talk, and yawn properly. The muscles surrounding these joints, on the other hand, control your jaw’s movement and position. Problems in these joints and muscles lead to jaw disorder.
The primary cause of TMJ is injury to the temporomandibular joint, jaw, and muscles surrounding the neck and around the head. A strong blow, whiplash or similar force causes the injury and, eventually, the disorder. Other causes include:
- Extreme pressure or strain from clenching or grinding of teeth
- Dislocation of disc or soft cushion between the socket and ball
- Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis in the jaw joint
Stress forcing the teeth and jaw to clench and tighten causes TMJ as well.
It is important to understand the symptoms of TMJ for early diagnosis. The earlier the diagnosis, the better you can manage the problem. Look out for the following symptoms:
- Facial tenderness and pain – there is also pain in the jaw, ears, neck and shoulders. Opening your mouth wide, speaking or chewing also causes facial discomfort.
- Locked or stuck jaw (closed or open position)
- Grating, popping or clicking sounds in the jaw
Any difficulty using your mouth and jaw should be a red flag for TMJ. To avoid this disorder and other problems, you should consult a dental professional.
Sleep apnea is serious condition wherein a person experiences abnormal pauses in breathing while asleep. These pauses may last from several seconds to minutes. Not everyone knows, however, that this is a potentially life-threatening condition. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type. It is caused by blockage in the airway, which can be due to excess tissue in the nasal passages or behind the tongue.
About 15 million Americans are suffering from this disorder. Typical symptoms include snoring, chocking or gasping for air in sleep, daytime sleepiness, and fatigue. What makes Sleep Apnea so dangerous is that it can cause high blood pressure, irregular heart beat, stroke, heart attack, heart failure, diabetes, and depression. The good news is that there are several sleep apnea appliances that may help solve this problem. We are eager to help you find the treatment that works best for you.