If you are living with a jaw joint that clicks, pops, or locks, then you might be living with a TMJ disorder. TMJ is an acronym that stands for Temporomandibular Joint, and when the joint fails to function properly, the condition is known as a disorder. The symptoms of the condition can range from mildly uncomfortable to severely debilitating, although you may be unable to assess the severity of the condition on your own.
If you are aware of one or more of the following symptoms, there is a chance that you’re suffering from a possible TMJ disorder:
- Grinding or clenching the teeth during the day or at night
- Waking up with stiff or sore jaw muscles
- Frequent neck pain or headaches
- Intensifying pain when the teeth are clenched
- Clenching and pain triggered by stress
- Clicking, popping, grating, catching, or locking when opening the mouth
- Difficulty or pain when opening the mouth for eating or yawning
- A previous injury to the jaws, head, or neck
- Arthritis or related problems with other joints in the body
- Teeth that do not come together when you bite
- Inability to bite or tear with the front teeth
- A changing bite pattern
- Sensitive teeth, loose teeth, broken or worn teeth
The term “TMJ Disorder” describes a number of dysfunctions relating to the joint, muscles, and teeth. The causes are numerous and can change throughout your lifetime. The habit of clenching or grinding the teeth, tightening the jaw muscles, and overworking the jaw joint are among the most common causes. However, the condition can also be related to an injury, a torn muscle, or arthritis.
Any of these factors can contribute to a misaligned or unbalanced bite, clicking, grating, or pain. Unfortunately, without professional attention, the disorder can become progressively worse and the symptoms can begin to affect your oral health and your quality of life.
If your TMJ disorder cannot be resolved with conservative measures such as a bite adjustment, restorative dentistry, braces, or jaw reconstruction, our surgeons will explore the options of surgical arthroscopy or joint restructuring. These surgical procedures are implemented in the most severe cases and when all other suitable treatments have been unsuccessful.
For help in diagnosing or treating your TMJ disorder, please call to schedule a consultation today.