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Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the complex system of bone, muscles and ligaments that hinge your jaw bone to the rest of your skull. When functioning normally, this joint allows you to smoothly chew, speak, yawn and swallow.
Any problem preventing your jaw from functioning properly is often referred to as TMJ. Common signs of a TMJ disorder can include a popping noise when opening your mouth or feeling like your jaw is momentarily stuck. This can be accompanied by tenderness of the jaw muscles, headaches, and a sudden change in how your upper and lower teeth fit together.
We check for signs of TMJ during your routine exam. However, if you are experiencing jaw pain or change in bite, set up an appointment right away.
TMJ disorders can be disruptive to your life and may be caused by a number of things. Common causes include grinding or clenching your teeth, arthritis, injury, or a movement of a disc within the ball and socket of the joint. Any activity that puts stress on the joint could trigger a potential issue.
Determining the cause of your TMJ is an important step in treatment. Therapy can range from a custom bite plate or splint to prevent grinding your teeth at night to anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling. Applying heat to the affected joint and eating softer foods can also reduce discomfort.
If you are experiencing TMJ issues, give us a call to set up an appointment today. We can suggest therapies based on what’s causing your pain.
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