Getting its abbreviated name from the T, M, and J in TemporoMandibular Joint Syndrome, it describes the pain and chronic inflammation of the TemporoMandibular Joint. This joint connects the jaw bone to the skull. People who suffer with TMJ find that applying heat and or cold to the jaw area can relive the pain and discomfort.
Those with this disorder usually have pain and impairment in the jaw area. Because this area is susceptible to many of the problems that other body joints have, arthritis and dislocations are not uncommon. Areas of the jaw that can be affected are the nerves, ligaments, bones, muscles, connective tissue, and the tendons.
The two major symptoms of this disease are pain and dysfunction. In some cases there is actually a clicking or popping sound when the jaw is moved. Some of the most common causes are over usage of the jaw muscles. They could be as simple as chewing gum, clenching muscles, fingernail and pencil biting and grinding of the teeth. Most cases however are not so easy to diagnose. The joint in the jaw is one of the most complex joints in the body. It is more susceptible to common use, causing wear of both the bone and cartilage.
Because there are many causes of the disorder, diagnosis and treatment can be difficult. Treatment can range from simply not using the joint as much to muscle relaxants and in more severe cases, surgery may be a choice. People who suffer with TMJ find that applying heat and or cold to the jaw area can relive the pain and discomfort.