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Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are problems that affect the jaw joint and associated structures like facial and joint muscles, ligaments and bones.

The Jaw Joint is medically called “Temporomandibular Joint or TMJ”.It is the joint connecting the lower jaw bone to the upper jaw which is a part of the skull, located on either side of the face.

If you place your fingers just in front of your ears and open your mouth, the movement you feel is your TMJ. It is a small ball-and-socket joint with three parts:

The ball which is called the condyle

The socket, called the glenoid fossa

A small, fibrous disk that sits between the condyle and the glenoid fossa and provides cushioning effect during jaw movements.

 The joints work in synergy with the facial bones and muscles to allow opening and closing of the mouth and the forward, backward, rotational and side to side movements of the lower jaw.

Any disturbance of the perfect facial balance can trigger TMJ disorders, which affects the muscles and joints and induce pain on all areas of the face, neck, shoulders and back. Sometimes they cause unexplained form of headaches, which are very often wrongly attributed to migraine, hypertension or misdiagnosed as ear infection or neurological problems. It can also cause difficulty in opening and closing of the mouth, clicking or a popping sound in the joint and rarely locking of the joints.

Only extensively trained dentist can identify and treat TMJ problems. Thorough investigation including CT scan or MRI, assessment of bite pattern using specialized articulators may be useful in identifying the problem.

Treatment includes hot/cold fomentation and pain killers during the acute phase followed by removable splints and then specific treatment which may be selective grinding of teeth, braces or crowns and sometimes may require surgical correction.

We at venkat dental, are specially trained to identify and treat TMJ or jaw joint problems conservatively without surgery as much as possible.



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