Many people do suffer from chronic orofacial pain, chewing difficulties and decreased function of the mandible. All these conditions are associated with problems in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
Disorders of TMJ concerns the joint connecting the lower jaw to the rest of the skull. Its morphology is more complicated than any other joint’s in the human body, in order to provide the mandible with a variety of movements serving the functions of mastication.
TMJ disorders can cause severe pain making chewing and speech very difficult. The mandible can also be “locked” into a position while the mouth is either open or closed. Diagnosis, however, of the disorder is difficult, since other situations, such as a toothache or sinusitis, may have similar symptoms. In such cases, the advice of a dentist is valuable.
There are several treatment options depending on the type of the disorder and its severity. It is advisable to adapt a conservative approach at the beginning, i.e. hot or cold compresses, soft diet and physiotherapy exercises. At the next level intraoral splints and / or medication are recommended.