What is a TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your lower jaw, or your mandible, to your skull. You have two of these joints, one located on either side of your mouth. Your TMJ is extremely flexible and can slide, rotate and move in various directions depending on your needs. The TMJ also contains muscles that allow you to open and close your mouth so you can chew, talk, yawn, and brush/floss your teeth.
What is TMD?
Sometimes your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can click or pop if it is overused or injured. This can cause you a great deal of pain and discomfort.
Any problem or pain associated with TMJ can be classified as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) can limit the flexibility of your TMJ and make simple tasks, such as brushing your teeth, uncomfortable.
There could be many possible causes of TMD, depending on your lifestyle and sleep habits. Here are some of the most common causes of TMD:
- Trauma or injury to your mouth or jaw —a heavy blow to your jaw or your mouth can cause a shift or damage to your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which will then affect your ability to move the joint easily.
- Clenching or grinding your teeth —if you are a person that often feels stressed, you may clench or grind your teeth especially when you are asleep. This can put additional pressure on your TMJ, which can result in a sore jaw and headaches when you wake up.
- Opening your mouth too wide when eating —overusing your jaw by opening your mouth too wide when you eat can result in a sore or tired TMJ.
In addition to any sort of pain around your jaw, here are some other symptoms that are most commonly
associated with TMD:
- Headaches or migraines
- Limited movement within your TMJ
- Constant locking of the jaw
- Difficulty chewing on your food
- TMJ stiffness or a sore jaw
How 123Dentist Can Help
Treatments for a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) can range anywhere from a simple jaw treatment to surgery. A complete dental evaluation is recommended to determine the best treatment for your symptoms. At our 123Dentist locations, we will thoroughly examine the cause of your TMD and plan out the best treatment option for you.
If you think you might have TMD, visit one of our 123Dentist practices today!