Could Your Jaw Pain Be a TMJ Disorder?


Nearly 35 million people in the U.S. have TMJ disorder. Adults who suffer from facial pain that is chronic like jaw pain, earaches or headaches could have temporomandibular disorder. TMJ is the source for those types of pains and aches due to the joints on either side of your head called the temporomandibular joints. The work in tandem along with ligaments, muscles, bones and discs so you can chew, speak and make different movements with your jaw.

What Exactly Is TMJ?

TMJ actually refers to different conditions that affect the temporomandibular joints, facial nerves and jaw muscles. It can occur directly when your jaw twists to open, close or make side-motion movements. There are many symptoms that could be experienced including neck aches, headaches, pain in or around your ear, tenderness of jaw muscles or your jaw, jaw pain when yawning, biting, or chewing, soreness more prevalent in the late afternoon or morning, difficulty closing and opening your mouth, sensitive teeth when a dental problem cannot be associated and popping or clicking noises when you open your mouth. This jaw affliction affects more women than men, especially women of childbearing age, making TMJ a common chronic facial pain that is non-dental related.

The Causes of TMJ

There are a few things that can cause at TMJ disorder. Perhaps you have a misaligned bite and your teeth do not fit together well. You could have suffered from jaw dislocation, a jaw injury or arthritis. Those are the main causes of TMJ with stress being a factor too. Have you been attempting strenuous activities that are physical like lifting objects that are heavy? Have you been involved in stressful situations? Both of those factors can aggravate a temporomandibular joint disorder due to the overuse of your jaw muscles, grinding and clenching teeth being specific causes.

How Is a Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Diagnosed?

Before you ever start any type of treatment, it is important that you seek advice and help from a dental clinic. There aren’t any standard, accepted tests widely accepted to identify a temporomandibular joint disorder. Symptoms can be similar to some dental conditions such as sinus problems or toothaches. When you discuss your symptoms with a dental care physician, they will exam your jaw and face for signs of a temporomandibular joint disorder. Once you have been diagnosed with a TM joint disorder, your dentist will offer TMJ treatments to help with the condition.

In relation to TMJ treatment you will have x-rays taken and a cast of your teeth will be created to see how your bite fits. Your dentist may even request that your TM joints be x-rayed. All of this, along with your complete medical history, will be reviewed so you get the most effective treatment.

Do You Think That You Have a TM Joint Disorder?

TM joint symptoms can continue or lessen depending on how you choose to treat it. If you think you have a TM joint disorder it is always best to seek care from a dentist. You are assured quality care that helps ease the pain and stress you are experiencing.

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