TMJ refers to the Tempo-Mandibular Joint.
These are the joints that allow all of the complex movements we use when eating, swallowing, and speaking.
TMD, or Tempro-Mandibular Disorders are several different conditions that can effect these joints.
Common symptoms of TMD include:
Popping or clicking when opening or closing
Pain in front of the ear
Sore jaw muscles
Pain when opening, closing, chewing, or yawning
Common causes of TMJ Pain:
Clenching or grinding of the teeth, often aggravated by stress
Problems with how the teeth come together when closing or biting
Improper contacts or jaws that “don’t match up properly” . This can cause you to bite off to the side, or push your jaw forward or backwards to make the teeth come together. This malocclusion can cause painful stresses on the muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones of the joints.
Injuries to the jaw or head
Arthritis and other diseases that can effect bones
Treatment of TMJ:
In cases of grinding or clenching a niteguard or bite plate can be very effective at preventing the teeth from locking together thereby relieving pressure on the joints and muscles.
In cases caused by a bad bite, identifying and fixing the way teeth come together may be recommended.