What is it? TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint and TMJ syndrome is a malfunction of one or both of the joints. The joint itself is found by touching the earlobes and then bringing the fingers in towards the nose a quarter to one half an inch. The jaw not only moves up and down but also slides forward and backward which makes it one of the most complicated joints in the body.
What causes the dysfunction? To diagnose the dysfunction of the TMJ all of the various factors need to be evaluated. In some cases it can be straightforward, trauma such as whiplash or a blow to the head. However, the trauma experienced is usually just the beginning of downward spiral. Other times it is triggered by opening the mouth too wide or for too long. A mis-bite, malocclusion, or simply chewing on one side can lead to the muscles on one side becoming chronically tight and spasmed. Stress especially accumulated over a period of time can contribute to an enormous amount of muscle tension. If your brain decides that it wants to store that tension in the mandible or temporal muscles then your chances of developing TMJ are very good. People who alleviate that stress by grinding their teeth at night or clenching them together during the day have a great chance of developing TMJ. Poor nutrition can cause the muscle to become tight as can lack of fluids. Systemic diseases can cause or aggravate TMJ problems. Immune diseases such as arthritis can cause inflammation in the TMJ. In addition, viral infections such as measles and mumps can cause damage to the surfaces of the TMJ. This damage can lead to a deterioration of the articular disc.
Where do the symptoms come from? Tight muscles hurt, so anything that causes a muscle to tighten up and stay tight will contribute to the symptoms of TMJ. (trauma, poor nutrition, inefficient breathing, stress, overuse, mis-bite) If the disc or cartilage wears out and you have bone rubbing on bone that area of your body is going to have pain. (articular disease)
Am I the only one who has TMJ disorder? It is estimated that over 10,000,000 people in the United States alone have been diagnosed with TMJ syndrome.
What is the recommended treatment and how do I get rid of the TMJ pain? Do the obvious things first! Buy the "TMJ Relief" video/DVD and incorporate the processes shown in the video into your life. If you know you are stressed out - take measures to alleviate the stress. If you experienced some trauma, a doctor, dentist, chiropractor, acupuncture treatment or massage may be in order. If you are a junk food addict, know that it may be contributing to your problem.
Why do I have TMJ? The answer to this question is impossible to answer in a single sentence. As you become familiar with TMJD, you will discover that TMJ is a multi-faceted problem, with various contributing factors. Approaching TMJ from a Holistic Standpoint, we suggest that you incorporate as many of the recommended practices into your lifestyle as you can, as long as they make sense too you.
Am I unique and the only one to have problems? Absolutely not, it is estimated that over 10,000,000 people have been diagnosed with TMJ. There are many people with jaw pain and headaches that is caused by TMJ that go unreported. www.tmj.org is a source you may want to check out for additional information.