Do you experience pain or discomfort in your jaw? When you open your month, does your jaw click and/or pop? If so, you may have a problem with your temporomandibular joints (TMJ).
The TMJ is the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the jaw muscles that control jaw movement. These issues can often be tied to a displacement of the disc that acts as a cushion between the skull and lower jaw.
Here are are common symptoms of TMD:
Pain, tenderness, or discomfort in the jaw
Pain in one or both of your temporomandibular joints
Pain radiating to the neck and head
Clicking or popping of the jaw when eating
Tinnitus (ringing in ear)
Difficulty opening your mouth fully
Causes of TMD
The exact cause of TMD is often difficult to diagnose. Common factors include jaw injuries, arthritis, bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) and a misaligned bite.
It is important to determine the cause of your TMD in order to receive the correct treatment. Most common treatment options are heat pack application, prescribed muscle relaxant, night guard (dental splint), stress management, and avoid hard foods.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is best to consult a dentist for a complete examination, diagnosis and treatment plan.