TMJ disorder is readily managed in Boca Raton, Florida. TMJ means temporomandibular joint. This disorder is abbreviated as TMD or TMJD. It refers to a constellation of symptoms affecting this joint. The TMJ is the area around the ears where the temporal bone and mandibular bone meet. The temporal bone is located at the side and base of the skull. The mandibular bone comprises the bones of the jaw. This joint attaches the jaw to the skull.
The constellation of symptoms in TMJD includes pain, restriction in mandibular movement, and crepitus in the area of the TMJ. The pain may be referred to other parts of the body. TMJD pain can often be mistaken for a toothache. In fact, next to toothache, TMJD pain is the second leading cause of pain in the oral area. The pain can also be referred to the head, the ears, and the face. The restriction in mandibular movement stems from a dysfunction in the muscles of mastication or the act of chewing. The muscles involved are the masseters, the temporalis, the medial pterygoid and the lateral pterygoid. These muscles move the jaws up and down. Crepitus can be elicited during the movement of the jaws in persons with TMJD. Crepitus can be heard as a clicking or popping sound at the joint area. It can also be felt as vibrations or bubbles popping under the skin.
Although TMJD is not life-threatening, it can become chronic. Since the pathology of its development is poorly understood and involves many factors, it can become difficult to manage. Several theories exist on how TMJD develops. These include displacement of the joint disc, abnormal muscle movement, the presence of degenerative joint disease, trauma, hormonal and genetic factors, improper occlusion of teeth and psychosocial stress. Due to numerous factors, TMJD may sometimes be managed by different specialties. Dentistry is a mainstay in the treatment of this disorder.
Medication is the primary treatment for pain in TMJD. Analgesics, muscle relaxants, and anticonvulsants are some of the pharmaceutical interventions given. Dental interventions include placing occlusal splints to properly align the muscles of mastication, manipulating and adjusting the occlusion of teeth, and even surgery in some cases. Psychological aspects of the disease are referred to as the respective interventionists. Medical literature lists several other alternative treatments for TMJD. It is good to note that most cases of this disorder improve over time. Meantime, the present symptomatic stage can be readily treated in the Boca Raton area.