TMJ is the abbreviation for temporal-mandibular joint. This joint is the area where the temple area of your skull and mandible, or lower jaw meet. Problems in this joint can be caused by a number of different issues, and lead to some very uncomfortable and even painful symptoms. While it’s not entirely known what causes TMJ, a few possibilities include trauma, excess muscle tension, and misaligned teeth. In addition to the two bones in the joint, there are also a good bit of cartilage cushioning the joint, as well as five muscles involved in the movement in the joint.
A number of different symptoms are associated with problems in the TMJ, including:
- Ear aches
- Tenderness in the jaw and face that extends to the neck and ears
- Poor mobility in the jaw
- Facial swelling
- A clicking or popping noise when chewing or opening your mouth
- The jaw locking into place when you attempt to open or close your mouth
Your dentist will diagnose TMD after performing a thorough examination to check for inflammation, proper jaw mobility, and proper bite, as well as asking you a series of questions about your symptoms. If TMJ is diagnosed, there are a number of different treatments that may be undertaken, depending on your unique situation. A few of these include filling gaps between teeth, moving teeth, adjusting your bite, replacing missing teeth, and more. You may also be given a dental guard to wear that will prevent any unconscious teeth clenching or grinding that may be contributing to or exacerbating the problem.
If left untreated, TMJ can lead to serious damage to the joint. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, please call Stonebridge Dental today at 972-547-0554 for a TMJ treatment consultation. Our professional staff is extremely knowledgeable and able to quickly recognize the symptoms of TMJ. We can get you treated quickly so that you can be pain-free once more.
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