TMJ is the acronym for TemporoMandibular Joint, which connects your lower jaw (the mandible) to your skull at the temporal bone. This joint controls many jaw functions, like chewing and talking. If the chewing muscles or the joint itself are causing you pain you may have temporamandibular disorder, or TMD. TMD can be caused by stress, continual clenching of the jaw muscles, or teeth grinding.

Some of the symptoms of TMD are:

  • Pain when opening or closing mouth
  • Trouble chewing
  • Jaw becoming stuck open or shut
  • Headaches or ear pain
  • Clicking or popping sounds when opening your mouth
  • Teeth Grinding

  • Many of these symptoms can often be associated with other health problems, so a medical professional will also need to be consulted to tell you if they are due to TMD. Prolonged teeth grinding, or bruxism, can cause enamel to wear off teeth and expose dentin which is softer and more susceptible to decay as well as sensitivity to hot and cold foods.

    If you suspect you may have TMD, come in for a consultation. We can help diagnose you and provide relief for your symptoms. Pain relievers, muscle relaxers, rest, soft foods, and hot moist compresses are short term methods to provide relief for acute TMD symptoms. A night guard or a similar device can be used to help protect and lessen the effects of teeth grinding or clenching at night. Rarely, in very severe cases of TMD, surgery may be required.

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