What is TMJ disorder?
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (shortened to TMJ), is where the main joint in your mouth, the temporomandibular joint, is misaligned or overworked. The temporomandibular joints are the joints on either side of your head that connect your jaw to your skull & allow you to open & close your mouth, chew, & speak. Because they can move in many different directions, these joints are some of the most complex in your body. Any problems with these joints are referred to as a TMJ disorder. TMJ can lead to pain around the mouth, face and neck, headaches and difficulty opening and closing your mouth. Some patients with TMJ disorder notice a “clicking” sound or sensation whenever they yawn or chew.
Symptoms of TMJ
Symptoms of TMJ can include:
- Jaw clicking, popping or locking when chewing or yawning
- Headaches or earaches
- Facial or neck pain
- Pain when the mouth is opened widely
- Tenderness of jaw muscles
Causes of TMJ
Whilst TMJ does not always have an obvious root cause, there are a few common possibilities for the origins of a TMJ problem:
- Injury, trauma or dislocation of the mandibular components
- Teeth clenching (often from stress)
- Arthritis or other degenerative disease affecting your teeth
- Poor tooth or jaw alignment
- Other issues affecting the natural mechanics of your jaw
How can Ignite Dental help?
Our friendly dentists can help you diagnose your TMJ disorder and put together the best treatment plan to address it in a safe and effective manner.
Since TMJ can be caused by tooth & jaw alignment problems, we have several dental treatments available that may help. For example, we may resource to orthodontic treatments like braces, which can help realign the teeth & the jaws so that your mouth can close in the proper position.
If your TMJ comes from teeth grinding or clenching, we may recommend that you wear a custom dental device. Often called a bite plate or a splint, this special device will keep your upper teeth from grinding against your lower teeth. In addition to alleviating TMJ symptoms, this bite guard will prevent unnecessary wear on your teeth from grinding, which can, of course, lead to other dental problems.
If you believe you may have symptoms that indicate TMJ, please speak with one of our friendly dentists today so we can help you get rid of your pain and discomfort as quickly as we can.
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