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TMJ Causes and Symptoms

Danny O'Keefe D.D.S. May 16, 2011

You’ve probably heard the term “TMJ” or “TMJ disorder” before, but you may not know what that involves. That’s okay, since you’re not alone in this. Many people actually have TMJ disorders but don’t know the proper name for it. Generally they just know that their jaw clicks or pops and that’s it. The team here at our Jackson, Mississippi cosmetic dentistry office would like to take a brief moment to go over some of the basics about TMJ disorders, including the symptoms of TMJ disorders, the causes of TMJ disorders, and some potential treatments for TMJ disorders.

First of all, the TMJ is the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that joins the skull and the mandible. Given that it’s used for talking, chewing, and many other actions, the joint is clearly quite complex. Performing all of these actions, however, can lead to misalignment and other issues over time, which is a TMJ disorder (TMD).

Some of the most common symptoms of TMJ disorders are clicking in the jaw, popping in the jaw, jaw pain, and lockjaw. Some people may experience headaches and ear aches as well in addition to jaw pain. Usually people will experience difficulty yawning or opening their mouths or even chewing and speaking.

One of the most common causes of TMJ disorders is tooth grinding. Grinding teeth or clenching the jaw at night can place lots of stress on the jaw joint, leading to wear and a TMJ disorder. Injuries to the jaw can also result in a TMJ disorder. Sometimes the cartilage in the jaw can wear down, leading to a painful scraping of the joints in the jaw, which is another cause of TMJ disorders. If you have arthritis, this may also affect the jaw joint and lead to a TMJ disorder.

There are many options out there for Jackson, Mississippi TMJ treatment. These can be tailored to meet your needs. In many cases, your TMJ disorder can be dealt with through the use of a bite guard, which will reduce tension in your jaw. Sometimes getting your teeth straightened through orthodontic care can remedy a TMJ disorder. In serious TMJ disorder cases, surgery may be an option.

For more information about TMJ disorders as well as other dental care issues, contact our cosmetic dentistry office near Jackson, Mississippi today.

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