Temporomandibular disorder, otherwise known as TMJ, affects the temporomandibular joint, an area that includes the major bones and muscles of the jaw and some areas of the skull. This is the part of the head that is responsible for chewing, biting and talking. TMJ can therefore cause pain while carrying out these simple and essential actions. The pain experienced by sufferers can range from constant to intermittent and may last for many years.
TMJ has often been attributed to stress related disorders but further research has shown that can be a variety of different causes. Interferences in the movement of the jaw or bite from individual teeth can force muscles to reposition joints out of their sockets.Other causes of TMJ include a trauma to the head or face such as a sudden jolt. Grinding of teeth may also cause an interference with bite and can lead to TMJ.
The major symptom of TMJ is, rather unfortunately, pain. Pain to the jaw, head, face and neck may all be indicative of TMJ. Other signs that you might have TMJ are difficulty hearing or earache. Your city of London dentist may also carry out a clench test. If one or all teeth cause pain when you clench your teeth, you may be suffering from TMJ. Your dentist will also evaluate your bite and the movement and relationship of your jaw and joints.
Although temporary relief may be found using hot or cold packs, limited jaw movement and medication, it really requires a proper diagnosis and full treatment by a dentist to cure TMJ to a satisfactory degree, and may even be significantly cheaper than paying out repeatedly for palliative treatments.
TMJ is a very common condition and one that, with the right dentist, can be cured. See your city of London dentist if you think you might be suffering.