While many types of pain felt along the jaw have undetermined origin, some can be traced to the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). You have two of these joints on either side of the head right in front of each ear. This is the place where the mandibular or jawbone is attached to the skull.
Dental experts who specialize in the treatment of TMJ say that pain arises in this area, but resolves by itself without any medical intervention. However, in some cases, the pain can be excruciating. Sometimes moderate pain persists for long periods, affecting functions such as eating, drinking, and speech.
Where Does TMJ-Related Pain Come From?
The pain felt by sufferers of temporomandibular disease (TMD) may involve any of the structures found in the region. These are the teeth, the muscles of the face, jaw, and neck, ligaments, as well as the cartilage disk within the joint, blood vessels, and nerve fibers.
TMD may be classified under two distinct conditions. The first is a disorder that is muscular in nature, which occurs due to spasms in the muscles involved with the movements of the jaw. The second is a primarily anatomical in nature, which occurs due to the problems on the mechanical elements of the joint itself.
Seeking Help to Alleviate TMD Symptoms
When you seek treatment for pain due to temporomandibular disorder, beware of certain methods. Some treatments, when done by uncertified professionals, may lead to permanent changes in your bite, or the jaw itself may cause more harm than good.
Look for physicians specializing in the management of temporomandibular joint disorders, such as a TMJ doctor.
As the patient, you must be receptive and open so that the intervention program will be effective. It’s important to inform the doctor of your goals and priorities, too.
The best way to treat your TMJ disorder is to consult with a TMD specialist. Review the diagnostic procedures and educate yourself about the recommended treatment methods as well.