TMJ – Are You Having Symptoms?

What is TMD/TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders, commonly called “TMJ” or “TMD” are conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw. These joints are flexible and allow the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side, enabling us to talk, chew, and yawn. About 10 million Americans are affected by TMJ.

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

There are no known causes of TMJ but grinding your teeth, arthritis in the joint, and stress that causes facial tightening or clenching of the teeth can cause an impact on TMJ.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain or tenderness in your face, jaw, neck, and shoulders,
  • Pain in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide
  • Jaw muscle stiffness
  • Limited movement or locking of the jaw
  • Painful clicking or popping in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth
  • Swelling on the side of your face

How do you treat TMJ?

Home remedies that can be used to ease the pain of TMJ include putting ice packs to the joint and taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as advil, midol, or aspirin. It is important to avoid behaviors that can be causing the pain like chewing gum, and grinding or clenching teeth. Try to reduce any stress that is being experienced. Also try starting a routine of massaging the area or doing gentle stretches of the jaw and neck.

If the home remedies do not work, your dentist or doctor might recommend you for dental splints, botox injections, physical therapy, prescription medications, and in severe cases, surgery.

Do you think you are experiencing TMJ?

Visit your local Smilist where our top-rated dentists can examine you and help treat any pain or discomfort.

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