Arthritis in the jaw

Pain in the jaw due to wear in the jaw joint

The jaw is one of the most important and complicated joints of your body. It is also the joint that you use the most. And not just to talk and chew. Take note of it: then you will notice that you are moving your jaws continuously – also unconsciously – even if you yawn, swallow, laugh and sing. Especially during chewing there are huge forces on the jaws. The cartilage is, however, not as strong as the cartilage in the other joints of your body. The older you get, the more you will wear it. If this natural wear process goes too fast, arthritis can develop in the jaw. This can seriously impede the functioning of the jaw joint.

arthritis in the jaw

This is how the jaw joint is constructed

Your jaw is one of the most flexible joints of your body. The upper jaw cannot be moved and is firmly attached to the skull. Just in front of your ear is the joint that forms the connection with the lower jaw. The end of the lower jaw protrudes into the joint, with a cartilage disc in between, called ‘discus’, surrounded by ligaments and tendons to keep the joint in place. The chewing muscles cause your lower jaws to move in every direction. Not only open and close, but also front to back and left to right. This allows your teeth to efficiently grind your food.

Cause of arthritis in the jaw

The main cause of this type of arthritis is persistent overload of the jaw joint. Tooth grinding is a good example of that. This occurs if you grind your teeth during sleep and shake with strong force or pinch them firmly. During the tooth grinding, a large amount of pressure is applied to the cartilage in the jaw joints. As a result, it can wear off. The quality of this discus may also deteriorate due to jaw fracture or rheumatoid arthritis. In this rheumatic condition, the cartilage is affected by inflammatory processes going on in the joint.

Osteoarthritis in jaw

Symptoms of arthritis in the jaw

The result of osteoarthritis in the jaw is that the joint surface becomes rough and holes in the cartilage disc develop. When opening and closing the mouth, the patient feels the worn jaw joints overlap. At an advanced stage, the joint head can become flattened so that the mouth cannot be widened or the jaw joints become stuck on the affected side. In addition, osteoarthritis can be accompanied by a cracking noise when opening and closing the mouth, earache, full ear sensation and a changing bite. Also, broken pieces of cartilage in the joints can cause painful inflammations. People suffering from arthritis tend to press the jaws firmly on each other. As a result, the complaints can only increase.

Diagnosis arthritis in the jaw

During the examination your doctor will ask you to open and close the mouth. When a cracking sound is heard, serious osteoarthritis can be thought of. This presumption can be confirmed by means of an X-ray or CT scan.

Treatment of osteoarthritis in the jaw

We cannot say it often enough: cartilage that has disappeared will never return. The most important advice of the doctor will be to give the jaw joint as much rest as possible. Measuring a biting plate – which needs to be worn at night – can help keep the tension of the chewing muscles under control. The chances are that without treatment most symptoms will disappear automatically over time. In the tissue string behind the discus, scar tissue will develop which will take over the function of the damaged or lost cartilage. The jaw can then usually be moved to a sufficient extent. In severe cases bone growth may occur in order to distribute pressure on the joints over a large area. This can cause the jaw to no longer be moved. Then a surgical procedure is required, in which an artificial joint is placed in very rare cases.

Are liquid Green-lipped mussel and Curcumin efficient in arthritis?

Unfortunately, we are not yet familiar with patients with jaw arthritis who have tried this natural alternative to NSAIDs. It has been demonstrated in several studies that Green-lipped mussel and Bio-Curcumin can fight inflammatory processes in osteoarthritis not only in the knee, hip and hands, but everywhere in the body. Theoretically, the liquid combination of Green-lipped mussel and Bio-Curcumin could therefore have some effect on jaw arthritis. If you have experience with this supplement in jaw osteoarthritis, we would very much like to hear your findings.

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