The temporomandibular joint, also known as TMJ, connects your lower jaw to your skull. Among other important functions, this joint plays an important role in your ability to chew.
If you’re experiencing pain in the muscles surrounding the joint, or in the joint itself, then you may be suffering from a temporomandibular disorder, also known as TMJ. This condition can be brought on by stress, frequently clenched jaw muscles, or frequent teeth grinding (bruxism). Some of the most common symptoms experienced by patients with TMJ include:
- Pain when opening or closing the mouth
- Difficulty chewing
- Headaches and/or ear pain
- Clicking and/or popping sounds as the jaw opens
- Excessive teeth grinding and/or jaw clenching
Many of these symptoms are associated with other conditions, so please consult with a member of Dental Town DC if you suspect that you are suffering from TMJ. Frequent teeth grinding is a serious symptom, as it can severely damage your teeth’s enamel and expose dentin. Dentin is a softer material than enamel and is more at risk of decay. Many people with exposed dentin find that they have a heightened sensitivity to hot and cold substances.
The friendly staff at Dental Town DC will work to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for your symptoms. Over-the-counter pain relief medications and warm/cool compresses are effective short-term pain management solutions.
If you grind your teeth during the night, then you should consider investing in a night guard, as they can protect your teeth throughout the night. Some cases of TMJ will require surgery, but in most cases, behavioral and lifestyle changes can provide a significant amount of relief.