TMJ Disease, An Overview

by powerk813

Explaining what TMJ is along with some signs and symptoms

As someone who has lived with tempomandibular joint disease for 39 years, I hope to give you some valuable knowledge. I have gone through the different stages of treatment and am now ending with a total left joint replacement.

What is TMJ

Temporomandibular Joint

The temporomandibular joint is a small joint located in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw unite.  It lets the lower jaw (mandible) move.  If you place your fingers in your ears and open and close your mouth,  you will feel the movement of the joint on both sides.  The joint is a ball and socket joint, just like our hip joint. 

Joint Disease

There are many different names that professionals call it, to include:  TMJ symdrome, TMJ disease, TMJ disorder and TMJ inflammation are just four names.  The problem can be acute or chronic, and can include the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, bones, and connective tissue of the jaw, face and neck, and can affect teeth as well. No matter what your doctor names it, it really is just a catch all phrase. 

Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disease

There are quite a few different symptoms of TMJ disease to include:

1. Tooth pain

2. Biting or chewing difficulty, pain or discomfort

3. Clicking, popping, or a grinding sound when you open and close your mouth

4. Aching pain in your face

5. Earache

6. Headache

7. Hearing loss and pain

8. Jaw pain or pain when pressing on the area of the joint

9. Reduction in the amount you can open or close your mouth

10. Neck and shoulder pain

These are the main ones that I listed, but I'm sure that some TMJ patients can list some other problems.  If you are one of those patients, please tell me about your symptom so that I may list it here.


The Beginning of My Story

I will write more about myself when I publish my next TMJ article.  To begin, when I was eight years old, I fell off a swing set at the park, and fell onto cement. This was around 1973, so TMJ wasn't even born yet.  The hospital never x rayed my head and sent me home with a sling on my arm, and that's about all I remember of that day.  Over the years, my jaw would lock, hurt when I ate or chewed gum or candy.  When I was 16 years old, my parents found a doctor that was just starting out in the TMJ circle.  He made me a hard plastic mouthpiece for my bottom teeth.  I wore it but the only thing I noticed changing were my bottom teeth, they were becoming crooked!! Needless to say, I stopped wearing it.  My symptoms became more severe over the years, pain, discomfort, swelling behind my ear, and terrible shooting pains in my head and neck.  When I was around 23, I moved to Florida and found a nice doctor who started some minor surgical treatments on me.  I will explain those more when I write my article on TMJ surgeries. 

Help for TMJ patients

The TMJ Healing Plan: Ten Steps to Relieving Headaches, Neck Pain and Jaw Disorders (Positive Opt...

Your Symptoms Won't Change Unless You Do! This book is the ONLY one on the market that will help you with all 10 steps to identify and eliminate common causes and contributors t...

$16.95  $6.16
Taking Control of TMJ: Your Total Wellness Program for Recovering from Temporomandibular Joint Pa...

If you are among the 60 million people in the United States affected by TMJ disorder, then you may know what it’s like to have your problem be misdiagnosed or go untreated. Perh...

$17.95  $5.76
TMJ Cured

This describes the TMJ pains and associated ailments of the body that come from the mal location of the jaw bone in its socket (TMJ). This posture is totally dependant on the fi...

$19.95  $10.25
Functional Occlusion: From TMJ to Smile Design

This book uses an interdisciplinary approach to explain the origin of and possible solutions to many different occlusal problems. Dr. Peter E. Dawson guides the reader along the...

$202.00  $108.00
Updated: 06/10/2012, powerk813
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katiem2 on 06/15/2012

What an informative real article. I learner something I had no idea exist. The symptoms are common ones many may confuse with other more common things such as a cavity, sinus infection or the sort. Thanks for spreading the awareness of TMJ

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