Temporomandibular Joint Disorder & Marijuana Information: Treat TMJ With Cannabis

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. Temporomandibular joint disorder means that the hinge connecting the upper and lower jaw isn’t working properly. This hinge is one of the most complex joints in the body, responsible for moving the lower jaw forward, backward and side-to-side. Any problem that prevents this complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones from working as it should is called TMJ.

Some of the most common TMJ symptoms include:

  • Headaches (often mimicking migraines), earaches, and pain and pressure behind the eyes
  • A clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouth
  • Pain brought on by yawning, opening the mouth widely or chewing
  • Jaws that “get stuck,” lock or go out
  • Tenderness of the jaw muscles
  • A sudden change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together

There are three types of TMD: muscular, structural, and acute or trauma-related. Each is caused by a different issue and can present in a unique way.   

  1. Muscular: Muscular issues are the most common type of TMD, and are caused by tightness in the muscles that you chew with. This problem often comes on suddenly and can be related to stress
  2. Structural: Degenerative joint disease (DJD) is the most severe type of TMD and is often caused by structural changes to the jaw.
  3. Acute: The third and final type of TMD is acute, or trauma-related TMD. This can be the result of a sports injury or car accident, or a blunt force to the face or chin. The result is damage to the TMJ structure and acute inflammation. Clenching or grinding of the teeth can also cause acute trauma to the TMJ.

Clinical Information Related to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder and Medical Marijuana

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