Have you heard of TMJ Syndrome? There are many misconceptions about it. We are here to clear up any misinformation and give you FACTS about this common jaw disorder.
What is it?
- TMJ stands for Temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that connects your lower jaw to the temporal bones of your skull. You have two TMJ joints that work together as a pair – one in front of each ear. The TMJ joints work like a sliding hinge to move your jaw up and down.
- Problems with this joint are often referred to as just TMJ. However, TMD or temporomandibular disorders is more accurate. TMD is a complex and poorly understood condition, but it typically results in pain in and around the jaw. TMD can affect chewing, speaking and even making facial expressions. In extreme cases, it can affect your breathing.
What Causes it?
There are many factors that cause TMJ trouble. Misaligned upper and lower teeth, injury to the jaw, grinding your teeth, stress and arthritis all can be triggers for jaw pain.
Symptoms of TMD include pain when chewing, popping, clicking or grinding noises in the jaw. Headaches, ear aches, trouble opening and closing the mouth may also be noticed. Most notably, pain and tenderness in and around the jaw. Lastly, in more extreme cases, a locked jaw – either locked open or locked shut can happen.
About 12 % of the population in the United States are affected by TMD. This is more common in woman than in men. Researchers have discovered people with TMD may also have other conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic headaches, endometriosis and fibromyalgia to name a few.
Finally, if you think you or someone in your family have TMJ syndrome, make an appointment with one of our Doctors to learn more of what you can do and how we can help you. Call us at 920-733-2445.