The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is like a hinge that connects your jaw to your skull, and you have one of these on each side of your jaw. If you happen to experience a TMJ disorder, which is a type of Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD), it will cause pain in your jaw and the muscles that control your jaw.
What Causes TMJ?
It can be very difficult to determine the exact cause of a patients TMJ disorder as it can be due to a combination of factors such as genetics, arthritis or from a jaw injury. The most common cause of TMJ is called Bruxism (Teeth Grinding), and this typically occurs while you are sleeping.
What Are The Symptoms Of TMJ?
Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders may include:
- Pain In Your Jaw
- Pain In One or Both Of The TMJ Joints (See Photo For Reference)
- Aching Pain In and Around Your Ear
- Difficulty Chewing or Pain While Chewing
- Clicking or Popping Of Temporomandibular Joints (See Photo For Reference)
- Aching Facial Pain
- Locking of Your Jaw, Making It Troublesome To Open & Close Your Jaw
How Do I Treat TMJ?
Since each patient is unique, each treatment can be different. Most commonly TMJ pain is temporary can be relieved in the comfort of your home. Most of the time, we will give you a mouthpiece to wear while you are sleeping as the most common cause of TMJ is Bruxism as we mentioned above. The mouthpiece will prevent you from clenching or grinding your teeth during your sleep.
Also, relaxing your jaw is a great way to relieve the pain caused by TMJ. Most of the time TMJ is from teeth clenching/grinding which may be driven by stress. It would be advisable to take some time to just relax your jaw and do some jaw stretches. For example, open and close your jaw slowly for several minutes, and make sure that your jaw is relaxed.
If relaxing your jaw does not work after a day or two, or if the pain is unbearable, schedule an appointment with our office immediately.
Schedule An Appointment
If you or a loved one are suffering from symptoms of TMJ or think you may have TMJ, Dr. Nadia Daljeet will meet with you to discuss the best way to treat your TMJ. If you would like to schedule an appointment, call (508) 342-1519 or request an appointment online.