MacDonald Ranch Dentist

What is TMJ

Your jaw is connected to the skull by the temporomandibular joint, and when this joint becomes injured or damaged, this is called TMJ syndrome. Due to the complex sliding and hinge motion, the temporomandibular joint can be damaged causing symptoms varying from grinding your teeth to headaches. Causes of TMJ syndrome vary wildly, as do the symptoms, which is why it is important to be educated on TMJ syndrome and know when it is necessary to seek assistance from a medical professional.

Causes of TMJ

TMJ syndrome causes have been hard to pinpoint to just one, so medical professionals have highlighted a few ways they believe TMJ syndrome can be caused by:

  • Chewing gum
  • Injury to your teeth or jaw
  • Misalignment of teeth or jaw
  • Grinding teeth
  • Gum chewing
  • Bad posture
  • Stress
  • Arthritis

Symptoms of TMJ

  • Pain in the jaw joint
  • Jaw clicking and popping
  • Ear pain
  • Headaches
  • Any pain in the temple area
  • Locking of the jaw joint
  • Popping sounds in ear

TMJ syndrome provides various symptoms, and is traditionally treated with simple remedies due to the wide spectrum of causes and lack of ability to accurately pinpoint those cause. Medical professionals recommend looking at things like your posture and sleeping habits when looking to improve the symptoms of TMJ. Sitting up straight and having your shoulders back can help alleviate the tension that stems from TMJ in your jaw and spreads to your head, neck, and shoulders. TMJ leads to the tendency of clenching your jaw in your sleep without even knowing it. To avoid waking up with headaches and stiffness, looking into a mouth guard will help prevent you from clenching your jaw, and will relieve your body of the tension caused by TMJ. Most common prescribed remedies for TMJ syndrome are simple, and focus on reducing pain caused from the TMJ, and also preventing tension from TMJ that can cause future pain.

Besides the previous mentioned remedies, other simple fixes can be icing the location in pain, regularly performing jaw exercises to relax the muscles strained by TMJ syndrome, and taking over the counter pain relievers. If simple remedies aren’t resulting in less pain seek out a medical professional’s assistance as TMJ is a serious condition, and can lead to multiple disturbing symptoms in your daily life.

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