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What is TMJ Disorder and How is it Treated?

The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. As with any joint there can be problems with the bone, cartilage, ligaments and muscles. Even the nerves and blood vessels around the joint can become involved. Common symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome or Temporomandibular Disorder are popping and clicking about the jaw, dull aching, pain about the temples which might be aggravated with chewing. The jaw at times can get stuck or locked in place, headaches and ear aches are also associated with Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome. Also with obvious cases of Temporomandibular Disorder such as trauma (a punch, car accidents, fractures) many times Temporomandibular Disorder are associated with clenching and grinding of the teeth while awake and while asleep. The standard approach for Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome is to approach it with massage, physical therapy and medication. Often times splints (intra oral appliances) are made mostly by Dentist to aid symptoms of Temporomandibular Disorder. More aggressive treatments for Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome can go as far as reconstructive surgery for the more difficult cases.