TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT PROBLEMS (TMJ)
The joint between your upper and lower jaws, just in front of your ears is called temporomandibular joint.
Cartilage seperates the bone surfaces.
The jaw joint can occasionally cause problems, which your dentist can help diagnose and treat.
Clicking or grating noises when you move your jaw
Difficulty in opening and closing the mouth
Swelling and tenderness over the joint
Pain in the face, neck and chewing muscles
Headaches and migraines, especially first thing in the morning.
Clicking and grating noises are usually down to the cartilage jumping when you open your mouth.
Jaw pain is the result of increased tension in the jaw muscles, usually caused by clenching or grinding in your sleep or during the day.
Painkillers and sedatives can relief pain in the short term, also using relaxation and stress relieving techniques can help, wearing a soft bite raising appliance (shown above) can help by stopping you from grinding your teeth whilst you are sleeping.
Evidence suggests acupunture can help treat TMJ Dysfunction. Chinese medicine claims acupunture can target the root cause of the condition by balancing the mind and body through a network of channels (called meridians) helping to reset the neuromuscular tension in the jaw.
Western medicine feels that the effects of acupunture are associated
with the release of cheimicals when the needle passes through the imflammed tissue. The chemicals produced include endorphins, known as the bodies own natural pain killers. The endorphines produced allows the tense muscles to relax.
Over clenching and grinding of the teeth can overwork the face and neck muscles, these can develope sensitive nodules (trigger points) These trigger points can cause jaw pain.
Hair thin needles placed directly into the affected muscles can release these trigger points which can help to relieve symptoms.
Ask your dentist about acupunture to help treat the symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction