Temporomandibular disorders affect the jaw muscles, the temporomandibular joints and/or the nerves associated with chronic facial pain.
The origins of this type of pathology tend to lie in combinations of tension, stress and changes in tooth position. In order to correctly diagnose the exact nature of the problem, it is often necessary to use articulated models of the mouth, various types of x-rays and computer occlusion analysis, amongst other things.
Evaluating anatomical structures, including muscles, ligaments, disc position or intra-articular meniscus) is, at times, of the utmost importance for focused treatment. The way that the teeth are in contact with each other can determine the appearance of joint discomfort, especially on opening and closing the mouth, either because they are overloaded more on one side than the other, or because it has caused a recessed position of the jaw, reducing the joint space.
The treatment of craniomandibular dysfunction becomes more difficult the more chronic the problem is, so it's a good idea to consult your dentist as soon as you notice the first symptoms.
The treatment is based on restoring the balance between the muscles, teeth and joints using orthopaedic, orthodontic or prosthetic techniques, or by using various kinds of splints.
These are worn between the teeth (usually overnight). They redirect, decrease and redistribute the forces of chewing and clenching by relaxing the muscles and protecting the joint (TMJ).
Source: Cuevas y Queipo Dental Clinic