Unresolved TMJ (or TMD) problems usually lead to compromised function of soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments often far away from the TMJoint location). If both normal working and resting lengths of these soft tissues are affected, blood circulation is reduced. The lack of nutrient for these tissues results in premature fatiguing. The building up of waste products results in the development of "trigger points".
Although many of our TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) patients have heard of the use of splints or orthotics in treating TMD, few are knowledgeable of just how effective this aspect of treatment can be if utilized properly. In fact, many doctors are not fully trained to integrate splint therapy to its full potential as part of a TMD treatment regimen.
Temporal tendinitis has been called "The Migraine Mimic" because so many symptoms are similar to migraine headache pain. Symptoms include: TMJ pain, ear pain and pressure, temporal headaches, cheek pain, tooth sensitivity, neck and shoulder pain. Treatment consists of injecting local anesthetics and other medications, a soft diet, using moist heat, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medications, and physiotherapy.
This TMJ-like problem involves the stylomandibular ligament, at tiny structure that connects the base of the skull with the mandibular, or lower jaw. If injured, this structure can produce pain in as many as seven specific regions of the face, head and neck: the temple, the TMJ, the ear, the cheek, the eye; the throat, especially when swallowing, and the lower back teeth and jaw bone.