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Why you may suffering facial pain, jaw joint and ear pain.

The term TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) refers to the jaw joint in front of the ear.  Many doctors believe it to be the most complex joint in the human body.  The joint can experience similar diseases and injuries found in other joints of the body.

Most people have heard of a slipped disc in the back.  The soft disc in the jaw joint can "slip" as well, sometimes with pain and clicking or popping of the injured disc when the mouth opens or closes.  Auto accidents, blunt trauma, changes to the bite of the teeth, and injuries to the muscles and tendons that move the joint and the lower jaw can all contribute to painful symptoms.   Pain can be felt at the ear, temple, eye, cheekbone, below the lobe of the ear and at the jaw joint.  If the disc has slipped, it may fold up in front of the hinging part of the jaw and "lock" the jaw joint so that the mouth can hardly open.  This condition results in TMJ pain and is often serious.

If the teeth and jaws do not fit together properly, the disc in the jaw joint can be affected while in orthodontic therapy if the fit of the teeth do not match where the disc needs to be. It is not unusual for the disc to start clicking or popping while in orthodontic care. If that happens, the joint and its disc should be treated before things get worse. Ernest Syndrome and Temporal Tendonitis can also make the jaw joint hurt and click, so a painful jaw joint that does not get better with "joint" care should be referred to a doctor trained to diagnose and treat Ernest Syndrome, Temporal Tendonitis, TMJ Neuralgia (painful nerve inside joint) or other painful disorders.

 

 

If not treated quickly, the slipped disc can become permanently lodged in front of the hinging part of the jaw. The "slipped" disc alters how the joint functions, and may cause permanent injury to tissues inside the jaw joint, as well as muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerve endings outside the joint.   

The problems can multiply if a patient has an orthodontic problem.

 

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