What is the jaw joint?

How do jaw disorders occur?

Since the jaw joint is close to the spine in the neck and the teeth in the mouth, discomfort in these areas can easily affect the jaw joint and cause complaints. Normal person jaw joint; It uses about 2 thousand times a day during chewing, swallowing, breathing and talking. The movements of the lower jaw are formed by the joint movement of the neck and jaw muscles. Lower jaw bone; It can move up, down, forward and sideways. Disruption of this order may also be a sign of a disorder that occurs or may occur in the jaw joint.



How is the diagnosis made?

The most important diagnosis method in jaw joint diseases is examination. If necessary, not only a physical therapy doctor, but also dentistry, plastic surgery or even psychiatrist evaluations may be required. As a result of a good examination, the problem is diagnosed to a great extent. However, it is necessary to emphasize the importance of radiological examinations such as x-rays and MRIs in diagnosis.


What are the causes of pain in the jaw joint?

• Constantly clenching teeth, teeth grinding (bruxism)
• Posture disorders (especially postures where the head is tilted forward)
• Jaw closing disorders and teeth diseases
• One-sided chewing habit
• Psychological reasons
• Traumas, exposure to cold, strain (eg biting a hard or large bite).
• General connective tissue laxity, nail biting, chewing gum, continuous mouth breathing, core eating, smoking pipe, talking on the phone for a long time, playing violin, etc. parafunctional behaviors such as
• Diseases such as tumors, infections and inflammatory rheumatism

What are the complaints seen in jaw joint diseases?

• Tenderness and pains in the muscles: These are the pains felt in the chin area or cheeks. It usually occurs due to clenching teeth. It is one of the most common complaints.
• Changes and limitations in jaw movements: It may occur due to the deterioration of the joint anatomy and / or pain.
• Joint sounds: It occurs due to the displacement of the joint disc or excessive calcification.
• Slippage in the mouth: Anatomical and physiological disorders occurring in the joints cause disorders in the opening and closing of the mouth.
• Disruption of chewing order: Factors such as pain, change in mouth movement and unilateral chewing cause various chewing disorders.
• Inability to open the mouth: It may occur due to pain, changes in joint anatomy and advanced calcification.
• Boredom, pessimism and other psychological disorders: Pain, loss of mouth movements and nutritional disorders are frequently encountered.
• Complaints such as tinnitus, dizziness and weakness: It occurs as a result of the close relationship of the jaw joint especially with neck movements.
• Pain radiating to the ear, neck, teeth, even nose and eyes: Pains radiating from the jaw joint to various areas are common.


Which treatment methods are used in jaw joint diseases?

In jaw joint diseases; Although there are various treatment methods, the most important of these is that the patient is informed adequately and accurately by his / her doctor. Knowing how to use the jaw joint correctly prevents or facilitates the treatment of most diseases. For this reason, in these diseases, the doctor and the patient doing their part correctly results in the success of the treatment to a great extent. In addition to patient education, there are also auxiliary methods used. Some of these are as follows;

• Home program and exercise: It is one of the most important parts of the treatment, which includes the exercises that the patient will do at home and the education of the situations that should be paid attention in his daily life.
• Physical therapy: It is one of the most important therapies in controlling pain, relaxing the muscle and providing mouth opening.
• Drug therapy: Various drug groups can be used. These include pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants that a dentist will recommend.
• Cold and hot therapy: It is one of the important methods to reduce pain and facilitate the application of exercises.
• Injection into the joint: Various injection applications can be used to increase the lubricity of the joint and to reduce the reactions that cause pain in the joint.
• Psychotherapy: It has an important effect in minimizing psychological factors.
• Splint: Splints attached to the lower jaw at night are used to provide joint opening and prevent tooth tightening.
• Manipulation: It is used to unlock the jaw lock caused by the displacement of the joint disc or to relax the muscles by stretching.

Tips for using the jaw correctly

• Improve your posture: lips closed, teeth open!
• While chewing, use both sides (right and left) of your chin equally.
• Stop grinding and squeezing your teeth.
• Do not chew gum or eat snacks.
• Avoid hard and difficult foods.
• Use the medication recommended by your doctor.


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