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What You Need To Know About TMJ Disorders

What You Need To Know About TMJ Disorders | Orchard Health Clinic

 

Do you experience pain or tenderness emanating from your jaw? If the answer is yes, you might have temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) – also referred to as TMJ disorder. This condition can cause pain in the muscles that control jaw movement and your jaw joint.

The exact cause of TMJ disorder can be tricky to diagnose. The pain may result from multiple factors, like arthritis, genetics, or jaw injury. Thankfully, the discomfort may be temporary, and multiple non-invasive TMJ treatments are available in Singapore to help relieve the pain.

TMJ disorder: Symptoms and causes

TMJ disorder Symptoms and causes TMJ treatment | Orchard Health Clinic

What causes TMJ disorder?

The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) combines a hinge action with sliding motions. The parts of the bones that interact in the joint are covered with cartilage and are separated by a small shock-absorbing disk which normally keeps the movement smooth. Painful TMJ Disorder can also occur if the disk moves out of its proper alignment.

Other possible causes of TMJ disorder include:

  • A habit of grinding or clenching your teeth (bruxism), which places tremendous pressure on the joint.
  • Arthritis in the joint.
  • Injury to your jaw, joint, or the muscles of your head and neck – for example, from whiplash or a heavy blow.
  • Stress – which can cause you to clench your teeth or tighten your facial and jaw muscles.

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?

Research demonstrates that women are more likely to have TMJ disorder than men. The condition is also more common among those between 20 to 40 years old. TMJ disorder can affect one or both sides of your face. When the disorder flares up, you may experience severe pain and discomfort. We recommend seeking TMJ treatment immediately if the pain is unbearable.

Common symptoms of TMJ disorder:

  • Clicking, grating, or popping noises emanating from the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth.
  • Jaws that get “locked” or “stuck” in the open or closed-mouth position.
  • Pain or tenderness in your face, neck and shoulder, jaw joint area, and in or around your ear when you speak, chew or open your mouth wide.
  • Swelling on either side of your face.
  • Trouble opening your mouth wide.

You may also experience headaches, earaches, toothaches, hearing problems, ringing in your ears (tinnitus), and pain in your neck and shoulders. Should any symptom sound familiar, please consult our healthcare professionals immediately. If you have TMJ disorder, our healthcare professionals can recommend suitable TMJ treatments to help relieve your pain.

What are the available TMJ treatments at our clinic?

What are the available TMJ treatments at our clinic | Orchard Health Clinic

If you have TMJ disorder, we recommend visiting our healthcare professional for specialised TMJ treatment, especially if the pain is unbearable.

Physiotherapy is one of the common treatment methods we recommend for our patients. Our therapists will demonstrate a few simple stretching exercises for your jaw, which can be easily performed at home. These exercises may also be supplemented with heat and cryotherapy.

Our therapists may instruct you to apply a warm towel to the side of your face for around 5 minutes after your exercise sessions. If you experience acute pain, our cryotherapy treatment can be applied to the side of your face and temple area to help relieve the pain.

We may also recommend shockwave therapy to treat your TMJ disorder. This therapy is shown to improve the movement of the temporomandibular joint and help reduce pain in patients. The shockwaves stimulate blood flow and cause minor inflammations in the temporomandibular joint to promote healing and pain relief. 

Learn More: Radial Shockwave Therapy

Besides shockwave therapy, intraoral manual therapy is a more popular treatment technique, which can be performed to stretch the jaw in order to restore normal joint and muscle flexibility or break up scar tissues (adhesions) that may develop when there is constant injury.

Depending on the nature of your condition, our therapists will suggest the ideal course of treatment (Cryotherapy, Shockwave Therapy, or Intraoral Manual Therapy) that suits you best.

It is easy to dismiss jaw pain as a non-concern, especially if it comes and goes. However, TMJ disorder can significantly impact your everyday functions, such as biting, chewing, and speaking, if left untreated. So if you suspect you might have TMJ disorder, consult our specialists immediately. We can help you manage the condition so that you never have to tolerate the pain again. Contact us to schedule an appointment with our healthcare professionals today!

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