The temporomandibular joints are the two joints that attach your lower jaw to your skull. Because your lower jaw moves in many directions, these joints are very flexible and they contain a lot of soft tissue. Temporomandibular joint disorder, or “TMJ” results when this soft tissue becomes inflamed.
Symptoms of TMJ
The main symptoms of TMJ include pain in the joint area, headaches, jaw and facial pain. You may also notice a clicking or popping when you open and close your mouth, or you may have difficulty chewing.
Causes and Diagnosis
TMJ is caused by anything that places stress on the joint and the soft tissues surrounding it. Common causes are clenching or grinding teeth, excessive gum chewing, stress, and arthritis.
We diagnose TMJ by looking at your symptoms, examining your jaw, and reviewing your general health and eating habits.
Treatment for TMJ is focused on reducing the inflammation and eliminating its cause. Anti-inflammatory medication, stretches, exercises, and massage can help reduce inflammation in the joint and regain lost mobility.
Once the cause for the TMJ is determined we will recommend appropriate treatment. This can include orthodontic correction of bite issues, bite appliances, stress reduction, physiotherapy, or medication. In some cases surgery may be necessary to relieve stress on the joints.
If you are suffering from the symptoms of TMJ, contact Westside Family Dental to book an examination.