Temporomandibular joint disorder, better known as TMJ, refers to the hinge that connects the lower or upper jaw and when it doesn’t work properly. This is one of the most complicated joints in the body, and it is responsible for moving the lower jaw forward, the side, and backwards.
If you have TMJ disorder, it will feel like your jaw is clicking, popping, or getting stuck temporarily. Fortunately, detecting and treating the problem early can make a big difference in your prognosis.
What Are the Signs of TMJ?
There are many signs and symptoms of TMJ in addition to the clicking and popping of the jaws. Some of them include:
- Headaches similar to migraines
- Pressure and pain behind the eyes
- Pain that occurs with yawning, chewing, or opening the mouth too widely
- Pain in the jaw muscles
- A sudden change in the way that your upper and lower jaws fit together
- Clenching and Grinding are Often the Culprit
When it comes to TMJ disorder, clenching and grinding of the teeth are often the problem. If you continue to clench and grind your teeth without taking precautions, your teeth could wear down, put unnecessary pressure on your jaw joint, and expose your nerve roots.
A night guard can go a long way in preventing this and other problems associated with teeth grinding, especially if you have a tendency to do so at night while you are asleep.
Early Diagnosis of TMJ is Essential
TMJ and its symptoms are usually preventable, but it requires that your dentist makes a diagnosis right away. This means that if you experience any symptoms that are associated with TMJ you should contact your dentist to have your situation evaluated.
If you are experiencing jaw or neck pain, TMJ symptoms, or headaches, be sure to contact our dental office right away to schedule an appointment.