Temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly called TMJ, refers to problems with the temporomandibular joints. These joints act as hinges connecting the temporal bone with the lower part of the jaw. TMJ causes significant pain and other symptoms in the jaw and even in other areas of the upper body.
TMJ can often be recognized by its symptoms, although a medical professional must make the diagnosis. Typical TMJ symptoms often begin with jaw pain. This pain is most often noticed while yawning, talking, or eating. It is not unusual for people with TMJ to suffer from neck pain, chronic headaches, and earaches. Many people also hear a popping sound when they open and close their mouth. It is fairly common for TMJ patients to suffer from teeth sensitivity, as well.
There are many different reasons that people get TMJ. People who have an underbite or an overbite may be more susceptible to developing TMJ due to the existing jaw alignment issues. Certain diseases that impact the joints, such as arthritis, may cause TMJ to develop. Many medical professionals also believe that stress can play a role in the development of TMJ.
TMJ treatment is unique to each person. The dentist will start by administering the most non-invasive treatment approach available and will continue to alter or change treatments as needed until the patient has TMJ relief. Many people find that anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful in reducing pain and inflammation associated with TMJ. Some simple remedies like moist heat packs or ice packs applied to the jaw may also be useful for pain relief. If stress is a factor in the TMJ sufferer's life, stress reduction techniques may be recommended. Many TMJ patients grind their teeth while they sleep, and the dentist can prescribe a night guard to prevent this problem.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!