The TMJ, Temporomandibular Joint, connects your jaw with the rest of the skull. Working together a TMJ on either side of the jaw, in front of the ear, will allow the movement of the jaw for speaking, eating or any other activity. The joint is named after the two connecting bones: the temporal bone and the mandible.
Temporomandibular Joint disorder (TMJD), or TMJ syndrome, is a very common problem for many people. The most common symptom is a chronic pain or heightened sensitivity to pain in the TMJ area. Also, suffers of TMJD may find the jaw muscles experience hyperactivity such as jaw clenching at night, known as ‘bruxism’, facial distortions and twitches, and teeth grinding. A wide range of other symptoms are also possible, such as discomfort when chewing, popping of the jaw, aching pain in the face and headaches. If you suffer from any of these symptoms you should visit your local City of London dentist for a check-up. There are some treatments they will be able to administer, or they will refer you on to a doctor, depending on your condition.
There are some basic exercises that can be used to treat TMJD. Gently stretching and massaging the jaw muscles may help relieve some of the symptoms, your dentist will be able to advise the best methods for these exercises. To protect against the damage of teeth grinding and jaw clenching, your dentist will suggest the use of a mouth guard at night, these will soften the impact on your teeth. Speak to your local dentist for the best course of treatment for TMJD.