tmj

TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT DISORDER: All About TMJ

Your everyday aches, pains and discomforts can be a normal part of your life or they may signal a more serious problem. If you have jaw pain with its accompanying clicking and popping, you are definitely experiencing one of the most annoying of life’s discomforts. Caused by improper alignment of the jaw, TMJ is experienced by over 10 million Americans.

Your temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. It allows you to move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn. TMJ – which affects the joint – can make even the simplest jaw movements painful and annoying.

For some, TMJ is temporary and its symptoms resolve on their own or with some DIY care.
For others, TMJ can cause chronic pain and needs to be addressed professionally.

Are there other symptoms?
In addition to jaw pain and stiffness, you may have headaches, feel dizzy, have neck and shoulder pain, ringing in your ears, eye discomfort, jaw locking and other types of pain and numbness. Sometimes TMJ manifests in the hands and the back. In the most extreme cases, people with TJM can barely move their jaw.

However, even in combination, these symptoms may not mean you have TMJ.
At StarWhite Dental, we can evaluate your symptoms to suggest your best treatment options if you think you may have TMJ.

Whether you are experiencing just a bit of cracking or a lot of pain, you can start with some home care:
• Avoid hard-to-chew or crunchy foods
• Apply heat or cold packs
• Perform relaxation exercises to help eliminate jaw clenching
• Stretch your jaw, neck and shoulders often
• We may also recommend that you:
• Take anti-inflammatory painkillers or stronger, prescription medication if needed
• Wear a mouth guard at night to stop teeth grinding

If you think you may be experiencing TMJ and would like to know more, call StarWhite Dental for a consultation appointment, today. Your teeth, your health and you are important to us!

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