Friday, December 5, 2014

TMJ...What Is it?

Located in front of the ears on each side of the head, is the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ serves many purposes such as chewing food, speaking and yawning. It moves side-to-side and up and down. The joint functions like a sliding hinge, making it one of the few unique areas of your body.

Symptoms of TMJ

If you suspect you're suffering from TMJ, let us know on your next visit or contact us by phone to make an appointment. We will examine your mouth and can take X-rays to better analyze your condition. Common TMJ symptoms include:
    A clicking noise upon opening and closing the mouth.
    Difficulty biting or chewing.
    Earaches and headaches.
    The jaw locks frequently.
    Jaw pain.
    Dull facial pain.

Chronic TMJ Jaw

If the condition becomes chronic, your jaw pain can persist due to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, tooth loss, nighttime grinding and even bone disease. Chronic TMJ can affect not only parts of the joint, but the adjacent muscles as well. That means treatment options will vary depending on your specific issue.

What Can You Do?

Until we determines a course of treatment, you can take your own steps to lessen the pain. If you grind your teeth while you sleep, use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth, which can help stop brushing pain caused by enamel loss or root exposure.
TMJ jaw pain affects people in a variety of ways. Thus, there's no singular cure-all. However, from a nighttime mouth guard to anti-inflammatory medicine, there are many ways to help in the treatment for those who suffer from any level of irritation.

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