"TMJ" stands for TemporoMandibular Joint, or the jaw joint. You have two TMJs, one in front of each ear, connecting the lower jaw bone (the mandible) to the skull. The joints allow movement up and down, side to side, and forward and back-all the mobility necessary for biting, chewing and swallowing food, for speaking and for making facial expressions.
Temporomandibular joint diseases and disorders, commonly called TMJ, are a collection of poorly understood conditions characterized by pain in the jaw and surrounding tissues and limitations in jaw movements. Injury and conditions that routinely affect other joints in the body, such as Arthritis, also affect the temporomandibular joint.
Not all causes are known. Some possible causes or contributing factors are injuries to the jaw area, various forms of Arthritis, dental procedures, genetics, hormones, low-level infections, auto-immune diseases, stretching of the jaw as occurs with inserting a breathing tube before surgery, and clenching or grinding of the teeth.
Pain is the most common symptom. TMJ pain is often described as a dull aching pain in the jaw joint and nearby areas, including the ear, which comes and goes. Some people, however, report no pain, but still have problems using their jaws. Other symptoms can include:
- Being unable to open the mouth comfortably
- Clicking, popping or grating sounds in the jaw joint
- Locking of the jaw when attempting to open the mouth
- A bite that feels uncomfortable or "off"
- Neck, shoulder and back pain
- Swelling on the side of the face
Additional symptoms may include: ringing in the ears, ear pain, decreased hearing, dizziness and vision problems.
Combine Light and Cold
Cyrotherapy can be used in combination with Laser Therapy to prevent injuries and recover from injuries. Go to the CryoTherapy page for more information on The Power of Cold >>