TMJ Pain in People with Hypermobility
Updated: Dec 23, 2022
Do you often find yourself getting complimented as super athletic or lax? Do you feel that you might join gymnastics based on your stretchy moves? Well, you may be the part of those 3% population around the world who are clinically hypermobile. Hypermobility is defined as the ability to move your joints outside of the designed range of motion. It is generally observed by the affected population through their childhood or adolescence. Often it does not hinder the living of the subjects but it may put them at the risk of joint injuries, ligament tears or other related syndromes like Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS).
People may wonder how this affects a tiny joint like Temporomandibular. This little joint can also be victimized by hypermobility. So what exactly is TMJ hypermobility? Well hypermobility is characterized by early and/or excessive forward gliding (translating) of one or both TMJs. This excessive forward gliding results in laxity of the surrounding capsule, ligaments and the temporalis tendon. The over-stretching of these structures over time can lead to disk displacement/derangement to occur in one or both jaw joints or temporalis tendinitis. Unfortunately, pain, functional loss, and possibly arthritic changes can set in. Those who have hypermobility, it may also cause jaw, shoulder and head ache along with TMJ pain.
Don't know if you are hyper mobile? Take a look at this quiz below.
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 Kumar B, Lenert P. Joint hypermobility syndrome: recognizing a commonly overlooked cause of chronic pain. The American journal of medicine. 2017 Jun 1;130(6):640-7.