What is TMJ?

TMJ is the abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint – the joint of where the lower jaw connects to the skull. This joint is associated with temporomandibular disorders, also known as TMD. Jordan Dentistry in Cumming, GA wants you to be aware of the symptoms of the common problems that happen in this joint that can cause discomfort while eating, drinking, and talking.

What is TMJ? TMD

TMJ just refers to the joint where issues can occur, but typically that abbreviation is referring to disorders of that joint – also known as TMD.

What causes TMD?

The cause of TMD is still under investigation, but dentists think that is comes from excessive wear or stress on the muscles that surround the TMJ joint. This could mean clenching or grinding of the teeth, trauma to the joint or are of the face, arthritis, or stress.

The Common Symptoms of TMD

TMD has many painful symptoms that are difficult for the patient to ignore. They can become unable to open their mouth wide, their jaws can lock either open or closed, their jaw can ‘pop’ which chewing or talking (which may or may not hurt), there can be sensitivity to touch around the area, swelling may even occur around the jaw. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to seek expert dental care for further assessment and treatment.

TMD most often occurs in women, ages 20-40, but it can occur for men too, and at any age.

Treating TMD

The treatments from TMD vary from exercise and conservative habits, to surgery. TMD can be hard to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to many other dental problems such as sinus problems, arthritis, or gum disease. Because of this, your dentist should look at your history carefully to help determine the cause of your discomfort. From there, treatment will start on the conservative side, progressing to surgery as a last resort.

Jordan Dentistry hopes that you do not have any of these associated symptoms, but if you do, you should schedule an appointment immediately. We will do everything we can to get you comfortable and back on the road to good oral health!

Img from Flickr.

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