Joint diseases can significantly impact oral health and quality of life. To better understand this condition, let’s draw upon the knowledge of Dr. Bruce Vafa DDS. MSc., a leading specialist in TMJ disorders and oral diseases based in Los Angeles.
Joint Disease: An In-Depth Understanding
Joint diseases typically involve inflammation or degeneration of the joints, leading to discomfort and impaired function. In the context of oral health, these diseases most commonly affect the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the hinge-like joint connecting the jawbone to the skull.
These conditions, often classified as Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMDs), include various subtypes such as internal derangement of the joint (displacement of the disc, condyle, or ligaments) and degenerative joint disease (such as osteoarthritis).
Recognizing Joint Disease
Joint diseases in the TMJ typically present as pain or discomfort in the jaw, face, ear, neck, or shoulders, especially while chewing, speaking, or opening the mouth wide. Other symptoms may include a grating sensation or noise (crepitus) when using the jaw, restricted jaw movement, jaw locking, changes in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together, and even headaches or migraines.