Written by: on May 6, 2015 @ 1:15 pm

jjTMJ is an acronym for temporomanibular joint. You have two TMJs, one on each side of your face in front of your ears. You can feel them with your fingers when you open your mouth.  If something goes wrong with any part of your temporomandibular joint it is called a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).  Such disorders can cause pain in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles. It is estimated that 10 million Americans suffer with a TMJ disorder and it is more common in women than men. Are you suffering from TMJ?

What Causes TMJ?

Although it is sometimes hard to determine the cause of a particular TMJ disorder, dentists believe that the following can contribute to their development:

  • Accident or trauma to the jaw joint
  • Dislocation of the TMJ disc
  • Arthritis in the jaw joint
  • Excessive pressure on the jaw joint from grinding and clenching your teeth (bruxing)
  • Tightening of the facial and jaw muscles caused by stress

Diagnosing and Treatment

TMJ can be difficult to diagnose. Your dentist will consider your symptoms. Some symptoms of TMJ include:

  • Frequent headaches or migraines
  • Pain in the neck and upper shoulders
  • Stiffness of the jaw and jaw muscles
  • Pain in the joint and/or surrounding muscles
  • Limited jaw movement
  • Locking jaw
  • Popping or clicking jaw
  • Ringing in the ears
  • A change in bite

Treatments are usually conservative but surgery may be required in serious cases. Conservative treatments include:

  • Jaw stretches
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Mouth guards

Surgical treatments include:

  • Arthrocentesis: A minor procedure that involves flushing the joint.
  • Arthroscopy: A minimally invasive procedure that will leave a small scar.
  • Open-joint surgery: A more invasive surgery that requires more healing time.

ABOUT YOUR FARMINGTON HILLS DENTIST:

To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with one of the experts at the Comfort Dental Group, then contact us today by calling our office at (248) 474-6434. We welcome patients living in and around Farmington Hills, Livonia, Novi, Northville, Westland, and Dearborn Heights.

Catogories: Patient Education, TMD, TMJ Headaches/Migraines

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