The temporomandibular joint acts like a sliding hinge; connecting your jawbone to your skull. you have one joint on each side of your jaw that is unique as it is the only joint in your body where two joints work simultaneously. This joint lets you move your jaw side to side and up and down so you are able to chew, yawn, and talk. TMJ Disorder/TMD- can cause pain, noise, clicking or achiness in your jaw joint. It can also cause soreness in the muscles that control jaw movement which can lead to tension or migraine headaches.
-Pain or tenderness of your jaw
-Clicking or popping sounds in the jaw when you open or close your mouth or when you chew
-A tired feeling in your face
-A feeling of a headband around your head/temples
-Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
-Aching facial pain
-Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
-Jaw that gets “stuck” or “lock” in an open-or-closed position
-Worsening symptoms under stressful times
Other conditions can cause similar symptoms- such as tooth decay, sinus problems, gum disease, and arthritis. To figure out what is causing your specific symptoms, Dr. Jenny will check your jaw joints for any pain or tenderness and will also listen for any clicking or popping sounds when you open and close your mouth. She will also test your bite and check for any facial muscle problems.
The part of the bones that interact in the joint are covered with cartilage and separate by a small shock-absorbing disks, which normally keep the movement smooth. Pain can occur if the disk erodes or moves out of its proper alignment, the cartilage is damaged from arthritis, or the joint is damaged by impact. TMD is a cause-it is parafunction, occlusal disease, or trauma. TMD is always progressive.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorders will not go away without treatment and there are a wide variety of treatment options available. Often, people with jaw pain may benefit from wearing an oral splint or custom fit mouth guard. Correcting the cause of the TMD is the best long term solution.
Contact our office today if you have long term, constant or sporadic pain or tenderness in your jaw, or if you can’t open or close your jaw completely. Dr. Jenny will discuss possible causes and treatments of TMD.