What is a TMJ dysfunction (jaw joint pain)?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the joint between the 'temporal bone' (part of the skull) and the lower jaw (mandible). Dysfunction means that the joint does not function properly, which may result in pain.
TMJ dysfunction is subdivided into disorders of the muscles, the joint disc and the joint itself. They may be caused by ageing, hypermobility, misalignment of the teeth in the upper and lower jaws, whiplash, prolonged gum chewing and grinding one's teeth.
Signs and symptoms
Most patients complain of pain around the ear, sometimes radiating to the upper jaw. The pain is triggered by eating or talking. It may also be accompanied by headache and neck pain.
How is TMJ dysfunction diagnosed?
The diagnosis is based on the pattern of the patient's symptoms. If you visit our clinic because of pain in the temporomandibular joint, you will always be given a neurological examination to exclude other possible causes of the pain. In addition, the doctor will test the mobility of your jaw. The doctor will also feel the jaw to see if the joint hurts when it is touched.
Do I need additional examinations?
- Diagnostic examination for other non-physical factors important for your pain, have already been done by yourself trough filling out your pain questionnaires.
- In case of your complaints do not respond to treatment, an oral surgeon best does additional examinations.
What are my treatment possibilities?
Depending on the cause of your pain, your pain specialist will decide whether or not to embark on physical treatment. Based on the results of the completed pain questionnaire, additional examinations can be carried out and, apart from physical treatment, other methods of treatment will be suggested.
If the results of your pain questionnaire are abnormal, your pain specialist will offer you one of the non-physical treatments listed below:
- Psychological Treatment
- Depression Treatment
- Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment
- Rehabilitation Treatment
- Manual/Musculoskeletal Medicine
- Special jaw physiotherapy
Interventional Pain Treatments