TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint”. This is the hinge joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. The temporomandibular joint is responsible for the movement of your mouth when you speak, eat, smile, chew, and drink.
Possible Causes of TMD
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is caused by a dysfunction of the joint. When the TMJ ligament becomes irritated, malpositioned, inflamed, or is otherwise damaged due to:
- Accidental injury to the jaw, such as from a heavy blow or whiplash.
- Grinding or clenching your teeth
- Dislocation of the disc between the ball and socket of the joint
- Arthritis in the joint
Teeth grinding (bruxism) is a common cause of TMD. When you grind your teeth excessively, additional pressure is put on the TMJ joint, which can lead to irritation, inflammation, and pain.
Know the signs of TMD, symptoms include:
- Frequent headaches and Migraines
- Pain or tenderness in your face, jaw joint area, neck, and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew or speak
- Locked jaw, in the open or closed-mouth position
- Problems opening and closing your mouth wide
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint
- Difficulty sleeping
- Trouble chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite
- Swelling on the side of your face
Treatment Options for TMD/TMJ:
There are many different options for TMJ treatment at our Richmond office. While more minor cases may resolve with anti-inflammatory medications, exercise, and rest. TMJ caused by bruxism can be treated with mouthguards. Custom mouthguards are a non-invasive treatment that protects your teeth from direct contact, resulting in lessened stress on the temporomandibular joint. In some cases, oral surgery is required to restore the joint, but this is typically only required in extremely severe cases of TMJ where other non-invasive options are not beneficial.
TMJ/TMD Treatments Near Me
If your symptoms persist, please call M Dental at Aliana to learn more about your treatment options. We look forward to meeting you and helping you have a healthy, happy smile for years to come!
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