TMJ disorders – Causes of a painful condition

The human body has a number of different joints that are constantly under stress at all times. While the larger joints such as the knee joint, hip joint and shoulder joint are rather resilient, smaller joints can sometimes be affected by certain clinical conditions. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge joint that is present within our skull and is the point where jaw movement occurs. It moves when we talk, we eat and we drink water, and even when we are stressed out.


While in most cases, the temporomandibular joint can handle any degree of stress, there are times when it can become rather painful. There are a number of different scenarios in which this can occur and here we shall take a look at what causes a painful temporomandibular joint in a little more detail.

The temporomandibular joint

The temporomandibular joint is a hinge joint which consists of the lower aspect comprised of the jaw and an upper aspect that is a part of the skull. Within the joint are present cartilage and a small amount of lubricating fluid known as synovial fluid. The cartilage is a shock absorber and absorbs a great deal of stress during different jaw movements.

Causes of painful TMJ

There are a variety of different reasons why a temporomandibular joint may become painful. Primarily, dislocation of the joint is a cause of discomfort. This can occur when the mouth is opened very wide when attempting to eat a large amount of food. This, however, is quite rare as jaw movement is always limited.

Pain in the TMJ can also be seen following some form of injury. Some examples include a whiplash injury sustained during a road traffic accident or a heavy blow directly on the jaw. Injury to the joint can also occur when the jaw is constantly being clenched. Some individuals have a habit of grinding their teeth (called bruxism) in their sleep and during times of stress. This can not only damage the tooth enamel but can also cause damage to the TMJ.

Osteoarthritis is a clinical condition that can affect joints anywhere in the body. As such, the TMJ is not spared either. Osteoarthritis of the TMJ can result in painful movements and difficulty chewing and moving the jaw.

In some individuals who have had orthodontic braces inserted, undue stress can be exerted on the TMJ and this can also result in pain. If you have jaw pain make sure to see a TMJ Specialist.

It is often misunderstood that a clicking sound heard during jaw movement is an indication of damage to the joint. However, this is not true and it must be remembered that that could be a normal sound in a number of individuals. Treatment is not required in such cases.

In conclusion, the TMJ is a constantly moving joint that is always under stress. Be that as it may, it is a resilient joint that requires a great deal of force or some form of disease process or habit to make it painful. One of the best TMJ doctors is Dr. Ronald Auvenshine.


Dental Implants

Jenny’s diabetes accelerated the rate of periodontal disease in her gums. Her teeth began to turn yellow, and then black. To her horror, she could pick out pieces of decayed tooth. Eating was often uncomfortable, and soon many of her favorite foods were off limits.

But the worst part was how Jenny felt about her appearance.  She did not smile often, and when she talked in front of people she had just met, she would put her hand over her mouth to hide her condition. Some days she felt hopeless. She felt she was too young to wear dentures and didn’t know of any other options.

But then someone recommended dental implants. Jenny had never heard of them, but a visit to the dentist ended up changing her life.

A better alternative to dentures

Dental implants are titanium roots that anchor teeth to the jawbone.  They provide an essential foundation upon which replacement teeth rest. Unlike dentures, implants are permanent. So you don’t have to worry about removing them or cleaning them. Nor do you have to worry about adhesives or slippage.  If you properly care for them, they can last for decades, even a lifetime. It’s a proven option with exceptionally low failure rates–less than 2%.

Are you a candidate?

If your gums and underlying bones are intact, you should qualify for implants. Fortunately, Jenny’s gums and bones were in good condition, though she did have to give up smoking before her dentist would perform the procedure.

The process

Her dentist made impressions of her existing teeth.  Not all her teeth were bad, it turned out she needed a total of 14 replacements.  Her new teeth were then manufactured in a lab. The replacement teeth are called crowns.

Titanium dental roots were then placed into her bone socket. This was the part Jenny was worried about the most. She feared the pain would be unbearable, but she was surprised at how little discomfort she experienced. Her dentist used local anesthesia and at home over-the-counter pain medicines provided adequate relief.

Jenny returned to her dentist ten weeks later. Her incisions had healed and gum tissue had closed over the dental implants. Next, abutments were attached to the titanium roots. These are small posts that connect the crowns to the implants. Crowns were then connected to the abutments.

She’s still amazed

Jenny’s new teeth were like a godsend. Her only regret is that she didn’t learn about implants sooner. She feels like she’s gotten her life back. Foods that were once off limits are now on the table. And the boost to her self-confidence has been indescribable. In fact, she can’t think of any words to describe this profound change, she only smiles broadly.

Dental implants from her trusted dentist in clear lake turned around Jenny’s life and perhaps they’d be an option that you’d like to explore.  There are available  dentist in houston too if you are near the area.