What Type of Condition is TMJ?
Our TMJ doctors and health care staff offer comprehensive treatment for your TMJ condition at Koala® Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders. For more information call us at one of our clinics today or request an appointment online. We serve patients from all over the USA. Locations in Bloomington, IL, Peoria – Dunlap, IL, Lafayette, IN, Mishawaka, IN, Columbia, MO, Kansas City, MO, El Paso, TX, and Wausau, WI.
What is TMJ?
TMJ refers to either one of the temporomandibular joints located where the jaw connects to the cranium. However, in many instances, people use the term TMJ to refer to a disorder of this joint, which is more appropriately considered a TMJ disorder or TMD. TMJ disorders include several dysfunctions of this joint. The temporomandibular joint is the most intricate joint in the human body, and because of this, it can be subjected to several different dysfunctions of the joint. The most prevalent symptom of TMJ disorder is pain, which can be present in the jaw or can radiate from the jaw upward to the temples, or downward into the neck.
What is the most common disorder of the TMJ?
Temporomandibular disorders fall into three main categories:
- Myofascial Pain — This is the most common form of TMD, and is characterized by discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function, as well as the neck and shoulder muscles.
- Internal Derangement of the Joint — Internal derangement of the joint refers to any part of the joint that is prolapsed (or not in the right position), such as a dislocated jaw or displaced disc.
- Degenerative Joint Disease — Lastly, degenerative joint disease is a type of disease that can be present in any joint in the body, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Both of these can occur in the temporomandibular joint.
What causes TMJ to flare up?
The cause of a TMJ flare-up can vary from one person to the next and typically comes with its own etiology. Correctly diagnosing a flare-up can be difficult, and the first step is to take note of when it occurs. Common causes of TMJ flares include:
- Eating hard food
- Physical injury
- Post-dentist appointment
- High levels of stress
- Nail-biting and biting on other objects
- Misaligned teeth
- Arthritis affecting the TMJ
- Prior surgery in the jawbone
Is TMJ a degenerative disease or an autoimmune disease?
TMJ is a degenerative disease caused by the wear and tear of the temporomandibular joint. It is not an autoimmune disease, although its symptoms could be the result of one, such as rheumatism and osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythema, scleroderma, and ankylosing spondylitis. In many cases, a TMD is caused by arthritis of the TMJ, both of which can be considered a degenerative or an autoimmune disease.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a TMJ disorder, come to Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders! Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating TMJ disorders and can help you ameliorate your symptoms and address the underlying cause of the condition for long-lasting relief! To provide care for as many people as possible, Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders has convenient locations near you in Bloomington, IL; Peoria – Dunlop, IL; Lafayette, IN; Mishawaka, IN; Kansas City, MO; Columbia, MO; Wausau, WI; and El Paso, TX. To find out which Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders is closest to you, visit our Locations page! We look forward to serving you!