The TMJ is the temporomandibular Joint. It’s located on each side of the face and can be felt just in front of the ears when you open and close your mouth. This joint is responsible for connecting your jaw to the temporal bones in your skull and for the movement of the jaw from side to side and open to closed.
When things start to go wrong with this joint, it can develop into TMD or temporomandibular joint disorder. Because the jaw is so integral to speaking, chewing, and a number of day-to-day actions, the pain, and discomfort that this disorder causes can be debilitating.
It can be hard to determine the exact cause of each case of TMD because most of the time a combination of factors is to blame. When the joint is out of alignment, it can cause pain and damage. This can happen because of genetics, arthritis or even an impact or injury.
Another common factor that affects the TMJ is called bruxism, or teeth grinding. Some people grind or clench their teeth during sleep, making it difficult for them even to be aware it’s occurring. Over time, chronic grinding and clenching can cause damage to the teeth and the TMJ.
Treatments for TMD vary depending on the suspected cause. Sometimes, correcting the alignment of the jaw is necessary to relieve the stress placed on the joint. If bruxism is present, a custom mouth guard worn during sleep can provide relief and help protect your teeth.
There’s no one solution to fix all forms of TMD just as there is usually no one clear cause. The first step is making an appointment to determine if the symptoms you are experiencing could be caused by TMD. These symptoms include:
-Pain or ache in jaw and face
-Headaches, including those on the side and back of the head
-Ear pain and ringing in the ears
-Neck and shoulder pain or fatigue
-Tight and limited movement of the jaw
-Pain or discomfort when chewing
-Clicking or popping sounds in the jaw
-Changes in the bite
-Sensitive, loose or broken teeth
To make an appointment or for more information on TMJ disorders, call Collins Dentistry and Aesthetics today at 509-368-7788.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788