TMJ syndrome is due to an abnormal displacement of the meniscus, a fibrocartilage disk in the jaw joint. TMJ sufferers complain of popping, clicking, and locking in the jaw. Osteoarthritis sufferers have pain crunching, and difficulty opening their mouth wide.
Osteoarthritis is due to wear and tear of the hyaline cartilage of the jaw joint.
For both groups, conservative management is advised with rest, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medicines, moist heat, night guard splint, and sometimes steroid injections.
Surgery may be advised for osteoarthritis… less so for TMJ.
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