Causes of TMJ Dysfunction in Patients

TMJ is the abbreviated form of Temporomandibular Joint, the joint which is located in the temple region where the lesser jaw is found to pivot against the skull. A specific inflammatory condition of this joint, also known as TMJ syndrome or TMD, is actually an assembly of a variety of symptoms which occur due to a defect in the functioning of the joint of the jaw. The condition is quite common, but is often pathologically misdiagnosed and is often referred to by the name “The Great Impostor” due to the fact that a lot of discomforting symptoms can occur due to it. There are generally three reasons why this disorder is found to arise in patients.

Microtrauma
Microtrauma is the first and most common cause of the condition and generally arises due to any form of injury which arises internally. The common causes are habits like abnormal teeth clenching. Scalloped tongue, soreness of facial muscles and worn down teeth are some of the main signs and symptoms. In case of a scalloped tongue, there are grooves in the surface of the tongue in which the tongue rests at the time of teeth clenching. Teeth grinding is another type of microtrauma. Further dysfunction of the joint can be caused due to the continuous wear and tear of forces on the teeth and the facial muscles. Persistent stress on the muscles supporting the joint can lead to wearing out of the posterior ligament and abnormal displacement of the joint head. In the event that you experience clenching, you may obtain some relief through a night guard. You should inform yourself more about clenching to know how to avoid this condition while you are still feeling fine.

Macrotrauma
These involve any external issue, such as an injury to the face during an auto accident or a high-impact physical activity such as rugby or boxing. In the event that you suffer from a high traumatic force which can cause dislocation of the joint, it can cause the lubricating disc of the TMJ to flatten and get damaged on a permanent basis.

Occlusion
The dysfunction can also be caused due to an occlusion or an improper bite. The anatomical posture of the TMJ is kept intact when your upper and lower teeth meet in a proper manner. Over time, however, the joint can get dislocated if the teeth meet in an improper manner. Rheumatoid, osteoarthritis of the joint or some other trauma can also result in dysfunction of the Temporomandibular joint. In the event that you are susceptible to osteoarthritis, various joints of your body – including the Temporomandibular joint – can degenerate over a period of time and lead to its dysfunction.
If you feel that you are suffering from Temporomandibular Joint dysfunction due to any of the above causes, it is best that you seek medical attention on an immediate basis. A delay in medical treatment can cause you a lot of discomfort while eating, smiling and even breathing and a qualified doctor can cure all these problems for you.

Resources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporomandibular_joint_dysfunction

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