What is a TMJ?
The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is a joint located in your skull and is often found to be the cause of facial discomfort or pain. TMJ disorders (also known as TMD) collectively address issues that an individual may have where the bottom half of the skull (temporal bone) meets the lower jaw. This intersection allows the lower part of our faces to move both horizontally and vertically. The TMJ also features a disk between the mandibular ball (also called a condyle) and the temporal bone socket, which cushions impact and aids movement.
No one knows for sure yet what exactly causes TMD. The prominent theory among dentists is that it begins with trauma to the joint or issues with the jaw muscles themselves. Jaw injuries–or instances of high facial impact–or injuries to the head and neck may result in TMD.
Symptoms of TMD
Symptoms of TMD can be easy to notice, as they are typically characterized by loss of partial function or some pain in the TMJ. Some of the more common symptoms of TMD include:
Pains in the TMJ can signify a specific type of arthritis, and unfortunately there is no known cure yet. However, pain can be reduced through a holistic regiment of medication, physical therapy, diet and rest.
Clicks in the jaw
Your TMJ may make a clicking sensation if it shifts around as your joint moves. This can be a fairly loud sound, and you may be able to feel it physically if you place your ears at the base of your ear, on your cheek. Only about 33% of TMJ sufferers experience this symptom.
In many cases, TMJ pain is most noticeable early in the mornings or after a long sleep. It is sometimes accompanied by jaw stiffness or difficulty opening and closing the jaw. If you experience pain in the area surrounding your jaw muscles or near your temples, it may be a sign of TMD. Mouthguards can be effective solutions if the TMJ problems are caused by night grinding or clenching of the teeth.
Why Choose Us?
At Mason Dental Center your dental professionals use state of the art technology and the safest materials to treat all our patient’s needs, including TMD and TMJ troubles. We promise excellent care and optimal comfort.
To find out more about treating TMJ disorders, contact Mason Dental Center. Our expert staff would be delighted to arrange an appointment at your convenience.