Temporomandibular joint problems are pathologies associated with the masticatory musculature as well as all those structures involved in mastication either directly or indirectly. These problems can produce disorders such as bruxism, arthritis, fractures, dislocations, etc.
- Pain in the mouth joint (TMJ) and/or underlying musculature.
- Clicking or crackling of the joints.
- Deviated opening of the mouth, lateralized.
- Limitation of mouth opening, either at the beginning or near the end.
- Facial pain, headaches, vertigo, tinnitus (whistling), ear pain and cervicalgia.
There are several factors that can produce an alteration of the TMJ.
- Traumatic origin, for example a blow to the jaw, a prolonged opening in time in a dental intervention, an abusive consumption of chewing gum, compulsive nail biting or various manias related to the mouth can produce micro traumas that prolonged in time can alter the TMJ and its functionality.
- A bad dental occlusion produces loads and tensions in the TMJ that prolonged in time can affect the biomechanics of the same, thus giving rise to different pathologies.
- Psychological factors, depression, stress, anxiety or other similar disorders are related to the TMJ.
- We also find genetic factors that could be related to some chronic disorders.
What treatments exist?
Since the origin of the problem is very diverse depending on the patient and the causes that have originated the injury, the best treatment would begin with a good anamnesis, examination and assessment of the patient, thus dictating the best clear and accurate diagnosis.
The treatments mainly consist of manual therapy, electrotherapy, dry needling, thermotherapy, magnetotherapy, etc. Although it is true, it is of vital importance that the patient is aware of his problem and follow the indications of a good program of outpatient exercises to be performed at home constantly to finally and within the possibilities to reduce pain.