What is TMJ Syndrome?
The lower jaw is atatched to the skull by a joint on each side of the face called the temporomandibular joint or TMJ. Any number of problems associated with the chewing muscles, ligaments, bones or the joints can prevent the TMJ from functioning properly. Hence the term TMJ Syndrome.
While TMJ is more commonly found in elderly people, it affects men and women equally. It’s exact cause is still unknown.
Symptoms of TMJ Syndrome-
- Headaches, particulaly present upon wakening
- Tenderness of the jaw muscles
- Pain in and around the ear (when no infection is present) often spreading to the face
- Clicking, popping or grating sounds when opening or closing the mouth
- Pain or difficulty chewing, yawning or opening wide
- Jaws that “get stuck” or “lock”
What causes TMJ?
Disorders often result when the chewing muscles and the TMJ work incorrectly. When this occurs, the muscles frequently cramp or go into spasms. Sometimes the spasms become part of a cycle that results in tissue damage, pain and muscle tenderness.
Accidents including injuries to the jaw, neck, head, or even diseases such as arthritis may cause TMJ disorders. The two most common causes however are oral habits (grinding and clenching) and an improper bite.
In many cases the symptoms of TMJ can be conservatively and successfully treated. So if you are experiencing any of these symptoms call Trigger Dental to make an appointment and speak about your options today.