The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a small joint that attaches your jaw to your skull. It is what allows you to move your jaw for eating, talking, or yawning. Accidents and injury can damage the joint, however. Whiplash, a heavy blow to the jaw, or constant clenching of the jaw are some of the ways the TMJ can be damaged. Once damaged, you may suffer from temporomandibular disorder (TMD) which affects around 10 million Americans.
Symptoms of a Disorder
TMD can make you feel pain or discomfort in your face and jaw as well as other parts of your body such as the neck and shoulders. Your face may also swell. You may also have a problem opening your mouth wide.
A New Cause
As previously mentioned, accidents and injury can lead to TMD. In the latest news, however, researchers have found out that scuba divers are prone to experience dental symptoms or issues while in the water. The causes have been traced to the constant jaw clenching on breathing instruments as well as to the fluctuations divers experience in atmospheric pressure.
Pain in the Water
The problems most scuba divers experience can range from broken dental fillings to jaw pain, a symptom which may indicate TMD. You can take action to prevent such a problem if you are a scuba diver. You can simply choose a mouthpiece design that is comfortable for you.
Treatment of a Disorder
You can consult a physician if you are experiencing symptoms of TMD. Once properly diagnosed, you can choose a treatment plan for TMJ disorder. Treatments range from medications, splints, dental procedures, ultrasound, and a few others.
Personalization of Treatment
Recent advancements may bring you a more personalized treatment to TMD. A certain company has developed a test that can analyze and pinpoint stress points and pathways involved in the development of TMD. In this way, your physician can treat your condition better.
Of course, prevention is still better than cure. You can stay safe to avoid accidents that can injure you in any way, including injury to your jaw.