If you have pain in your jaw, or hear a clicking or popping sound when eating or talking, or are experiencing changes in the way your teeth bite together, then you may have what’s commonly known as a TMJ disorder.
vTMJ is an acronym for temperomandibular joint, which is the ball-and-socket joint that connects your jaw to your skull. Put your fingers on your face right in front of your ear, and open and shut your mouth. Feel the joint moving? That’s the TMJ, and unfortunately, it’s prone to developing problems. Many things can affect the joint, such as bruxism (teeth grinding), injury, arthritis, or existing bite issues. When the socket develops problems, it not only causes pain and discomfort but can cause the ball to slip out of the socket, which leads to a misaligned bite and excessive pain and difficulty using the jaw. If you’ve ever had these issues, you know how challenging it can be - your jaw is vital to talking and eating.
If you are experiencing pain in the jaw, or have unexplained headaches or earaches, or if you’ve noticed changes in your bite or noises in the jaw, you should tell the dentist at your next check-up. Diagnosing TMJ disorder is done by physical examination of the area and by x-ray.
Treatments for TMJ are as individual as the disorder for each patient, and depend on severity of the problem and the issues it’s causing. At-home care is usually recommended (e.g. hot and cold packs, medication), but treatment can also consist of splints, mouth guards, jaw adjustment, or surgery.
Your dental team at Sunridge Landing Dental Centre can help you with your TMJ issues. Don’t just live with your TMJ pain - let’s get to the root of it and fix it, together.