The TMJ or temporomandibular joint connects your mandible or lower jaw to your skull at the temporal bone. This joint is an essential part of the network of joints bone and muscle which assist in the functioning of the jaw for example, chewing.
If chewing food is painful you may have temporamandibular disorder, or TMD. This can be as a result of stress, clenching of the muscles around the jaw or grinding your teeth.
Some of the symptoms of TMD are:
- Pain when opening or closing mouth
- Trouble chewing
- Jaw becoming stuck open or shut
- Headaches or ear pain
- Clicking or popping sounds when opening your mouth
- Teeth Grinding
While some of the symptoms above can be a result of TMD, it is wise to ask a health professional to diagnose the issue correctly as there can be other causes.
Bruxism or teeth grinding is quite a serious issue as it can wear away tooth enamel and expose dentin which is in itself painful and this exposed soft material can decay easily and is very sensitive to hot and cold drink and foods.
If you live in the Puyallup area and suspect you may have TMD, please do make an appointment to visit one of our helpful SK Family Dentists who will be happy to give a diagnosis and offer advice on pain relief methods such as hot and cold compresses.
They may suggest fitting a night guard which will prevent further damage to the teeth occurring.
Occasionally, in more serious cases of TMD, it may be necessary for the patient to undergo surgery however this is rare and alternative methods and behavioural treatments to change the way you use your jaw muscles are usually enough to provide relief.
For a Puyallup dentist that treats TMJ/TMD contact our office today at (253) 770-0198.