What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw bone to your skull. TMJ is also known as the Ginglymo-arthrodial joint. It is a bilateral diarthrodial joint. The joint with two movements hinge (rotatory/translatory) movement and gliding (anterior posteriorly/ sliding) movement.
The two main bones involved in the formation of the temporomandibular joint are the mandible and the temporal bone. The temporal bone forms the superior part of the joint with two components: mandibular fossa and articular tubercle. The inferior part of the joint is formed mainly by the head of the mandible. The head of the mandible, also known as the mandibular condyle, is the posterior end of the ramus of the mandible.
Between these two articular surfaces, there is an interposed structure composed entirely of fibrocartilage, known as the articular disc of the temporomandibular joint. This disc attaches to the internal aspects of the fibrous capsule and completely separates the articular surfaces of the TMJ. The disc stabilizes the condyle of the mandible within the joint, reduces frictional forces between the articular surfaces, and may aid in the lubrication of the joint.
Temporomandibular Joint Disease (TMD)
Temporomandibular joint disorders are a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement. Pain and functional disturbances related to the TMJ are common. There are multiple factors that can cause TMD such as stress, trauma, clenching or grinding habits, chewing hard foods, malocclusion teeth, and so on.
TMD is the 2nd most commonly occurring musculoskeletal condition resulting in pain and disability (after chronic low back pain).
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ
- Pain or tenderness in your jaw
- lose of mobility in the jaw
- Pain around ear
- Pain behind eyes
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sinus congestion
- Ringing ears
- Clicking and popping of jawing while eating, speaking, or yawning
- Locking of the jaw in the open or closed position
Nowadays there are so many people suffering from clicking sounds and limited mouth opening while eating food and especially while yawning. If it is without pain, it may be due to anterior disc displacement with reduction and anterior disc displacement without reduction.
If it’s only while opening the mouth, not with the closing of the mouth, the clicking sound is due to a disc displacement without reduction.
TMD primarily affects women with a male-to-female ratio of 1:4.
The highest incidence is among young adults, especially women aged 20-40 years.
- Get resolved without any treatment or by getting some TMJ exercises.
- Take less stress.
- Avoid eating hard foods for a short period of time.
- Muscle relaxants, tricycle antidepressants, pain relievers, or anti-inflammatories.
- With your tongue rolled up touching the palate ( roof of the mouth), slowly open and close your mouth.
- Open your mouth and make a fist with your hand, now place it below your chin and close your mouth with gentle pressure on your chin.
- Stand up or sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, relax your shoulders and chest up, and pull your chin straight back, creating a “double chin”. hold for 3 seconds.
Do these exercises for 5 minutes, 5 times a day.
you can see more exercise videos on youtube as well
Food Choices For TMD Sufferers
Yogurt, milk, custard, puddings, and soy milk
Bananas, melon, baked apples, fruit juices, fruit smoothies
Cooked carrots, spinach, green beans, cooked pumpkin.
Soft bread, cornbread, muffins without seeds or nuts, pancakes.
Soft-cooked chicken with gravy, fish, refried beans, and smooth nut butter.
Soft cakes, frozen yogurt, juice, milkshakes, and puddings.