An introduction to treating temporomandibular joint disorders
According to the National Health Institute (NIH), temporomandibular disorder (TMJD) stems from a collection of conditions that causes pain and dysfunction of the jaw and the surrounding muscles. The ‘temporo’ refers to temporal skull bones located on either side of the head, right in front of the ears. The ‘mandibular’ refers to the mandible or lower jawbone. Together these bones meet to create the temporomandibular joint. It assists us with opening and closing the mouth so that we can speak and chew.
It is estimated that 10 million people suffer from TMJD, and most of them are women. When there is trauma to or dysfunction of the joint, it can lead to jaw pain, locking of the jaw, structural damage to the joint, and even arthritis. A car accident, a fall, or a blow to the face are common examples of trauma that may result in TMJ disorder (TMJD). Stress, however, is one of the most significant factors. Grinding teeth from anxiety appear in 78% of TMJD cases.
Treatment options range from surgery to prescription pain killers and muscle relaxants. However, the Schreiber Pain Institute offers a more holistic approach that gets clients out of pain and equips them with posttreatment homecare that prolongs the results.