Orofacial Pain Disorders or TMJ dysfunction is a term referring to pain and dysfunction involving the masticatory musculature and associated structures (including the head, neck, jaw, teeth, and temporomandibular joints).
It has also been defined as the improper relation of the mandible to the cranium resulting in medical signs and symptoms (Dr. James Garry).
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. TMJ disorders can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement.
The exact cause of TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine. The pain may be due to a combination of problems, such as arthritis or jaw injury.
After a thorough history is taken, a careful and gentle examination of the patient’s head, neck, and jaw is performed which includes muscle palpation, and oral examination.
The patient will undergo EMG Testing. EMG (electromymography) is utilized as an aid to diagnosis and treatment planning to evaluate the electrical state of the muscle of mastication.
Incoordination of the musculature and alternate muscular function can be monitored and measured objectively.
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