Recognizing Symptoms of Jaw Joint Disorders

Recognizing Symptoms of Jaw Joint Disorders

Jaw joint disorder is a term that describes a condition of pain, disorder, or dysfunction of the masticatory components consisting of muscles, bones, joints, and innervation. Disorders of the jaw joint will trigger pain in the affected area, so activities related to the mouth are very painful.

The jaw joint is located around the front of the ear canal and functions as a hinge in the movement of the jaw, opening and closing the mouth. There are two jaw joints that are connected by the lower jawbone framework, so if there is a disturbance in one of the joints, it will certainly affect the other joint.

According to research, symptoms of jaw joint disorders will be experienced by around 40–60% of the population. The intensity of the symptoms of jaw joint disorders in each sufferer can vary. Symptoms of jaw joint disorders range from mild symptoms (which are sometimes not felt by the patient) to severe symptoms that interfere with work activities. The main symptoms of jaw joint disorders are pain around the ears when opening or closing the mouth, joint sounds around the ears, limited opening of the mouth, stretching of the jaw that tilts to the right or left, pain that feels like toothache, tight, stiff, or aching jaw muscles or neck, difficulty chewing, and shoulder pain. If this jaw joint disorder is severe, it will cause severe symptoms such as pain around the ear that spreads to the neck and even to the back. This is sometimes not realized by patients, so it is thought that the main disease is in the back or neck.

The cause of this jaw joint disorder is thought to be the result of bad habits such as grinding teeth, biting and biting objects continuously, chewing on one side of the jaw, sleeping with the head tilted to one side all the time, often propping up the chin, getting hit or impacted in the jaw or ear area, ear or tooth infections, irregular tooth arrangement, lots of loss of molars or back teeth, and congenital abnormalities.

Treatment for disorders of the jaw joint depends on the type and duration of the symptoms felt, so the therapy varies, starting with taking pain relievers, physiotherapy of masticatory muscles and joints, using tools, straightening teeth, wearing dentures, and finally surgery.

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