What is TMJ disorder?
TMJ disorder is a term used to describe symptoms that affect the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that connects the skull to the lower jaw and it is involved in a number of very common actions such as opening your mouth to yawn, eat or speak. If you place your fingers on your face just by the side of your earlobes and then open your mouth, you’ll feel the joint in action.
Symptoms that are associated with TMJ disorder include:
- jaw pain
- headaches and migraines
- neck and shoulder pain
- clicking and popping noises when you move your jaw
- stiffness and limited movement in the jaw
What causes TMJ disorder?
There are various possible causes, including bruxism (which is often associated with stress or anxiety), injury to the jaw and underlying health conditions that affect the connective tissue around the joint, such as arthritis.
What can be done to treat TMJ disorder?
In many cases TMJ disorder doesn’t require formal treatment, however there are some therapies and techniques out there to help to ease symptoms. Often, the best way to treat TMJ disorder is to find out the underlying cause and address this. In cases of bruxism, addressing stress and anxiety may help and we can also provide custom-fit bite guards that sit in the mouth and prevent the teeth from grinding together during the night.
If you think you may have TMJ disorder and you would like to find out more about the condition and learn about possible treatment options, call us today and book an appointment.