Dislocated Temporomandibular Joint
TMJ, temporomandibular joint, is found just in front of the lower part of the ear. It is what allows the jaw to move. This joint is a ball-and-socket joint, just like the hip or shoulder. When you open your mouth wide, the ball comes out of the socket and moves forward, then it goes back into place when the mouth starts to close.
The temporomandibular joint can dislocate when the ball (also known as the condyle) moves to far away and gets stuck in front of a bony prominence called the articular eminence. When this happens, the condyle can not move back into the correct place. When this happens, it is usually because the ligaments that normally keep the ball in place are loose. The muscle that surrounds the TMJ can go into spasm and then hold the condyle in the dislocated position. Local Dentist Office Queen Creek AZ 85142
You will know that you are experiencing a dislocated TMJ when the jaw is locked in an open position and you can’t close your mouth. This can cause you horrible discomfort until the joint goes back into its proper place.
Your dentist will diagnose you with TMJ by the symptoms you are experiencing, or if he or she visibly sees this happening. If you experience dislocation of the TMJ, the area can be tender for several days.
TMJ dislocation usually only happens when the ligaments are loose. So to keep this from occurring often, the dentist might recommend that you limit the range of motion of the jaw. Putting the fist under the jaw when you yawn is one way to limit motion of the jaw; it can not open as wide. Surgical treatment can also help by, the jaw can be wired shut for a period of time. When this happens, it allows the ligaments to become less flexible and restricts their movement. An eminectomy can be performed to remove the articular eminence. This would make it so the ball of the joint can not get stuck in front of it. Also, injections can be administered into the TMJ ligaments to tighten them. Local Dentist Office Queen Creek AZ 85142
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