TMJ stands for Temporo-Mandibular Joint. It is the joint that connects the lower and upper jaw.
The TMJ is one of the most complex joints in the entire body because it is capable of forward, backward, and side to side movements.
It is extremely important to keep the TMJ in good health as it is responsible for aiding in talking, chewing, swallowing, and yawning.
What is TMD?
The term ‘TMJ’ is often used to refer to complications and problems of temporo-mandibular joint, however, the correct term referring to TMJ complications and problems, is Temporo-Mandibular Disorder,or TMD.
Most often, TMD can be caused by trauma to the joint or due to degenerative diseases such as arthritis.
It has also been found that people who grind or clench their teeth are at a significantly higher risk of suffering from some form of TMD.
In the same respect, TMD can be made worse by clenching and grinding, which is why a night guard is often recommended.
There have also been links to show that ill-fitting dentures, repetitive fingernail biting, and stress can all be contributing factors to TMD.
It is important to identify TMJ symptoms in order to get an early diagnosis and early treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder
Some of the most common symptoms of TMJ problems are:
- Pain or tenderness around the TMJ (joint) or in front of, or behind the ear
- Difficulty in opening or closing your mouth due to limited joint movement
- Jaw pain during clicking, popping, crunching (crepitus), chewing, yawning, or talking
- TMJ (joint) muscle spasms
- Locking of the jaw
Some potential causes of TMD include genetics, hormones, low-level infections, auto-immune diseases, trauma, and clenching or grinding of the teeth.
Diagnosis and evaluation of such conditions are performed by dentists experienced in TMJ problems and treatments.
Some common treatments include the use of night guards, bite guards, and occlusal adjustments.
We are happy to guide you toward the best possible treatment.
How We Can Help Your TMJ Disorder
After a full assessment and necessary X-rays, we can help you to a better lifestyle, away from TMD symptoms.
We can also provide and suggest relaxation techniques, pain medication for inflammation of the TMJ (joint), approaches to getting a good night sleep, or fabrication of a night guard to help cushion the impact on the TMJ (joint) if clenching or grinding occurs.
Dr. Bis is experienced in neuromuscular dentistry, which can also provide relief for symptoms associated with your TMJ (joint) if the cause is related to the way your teeth fit together.
We are here to help you find a solution that will keep you pain-free for years to come.