• 22 JAN 14
    • 0

    TMJ

    What is TMJ?

    The temporo-mandibular joint, or TMJ for short, connects the lower jaw to the skull. You can feel it moving as you open and close your mouth by placing your fingers just in front of your ears. It is a ball and socket joint that is stabilized by muscles.

    Pain, tenderness or discomfort around this joint is known as TMJ disorder.

     

    Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder

    You may want to seek dental advice or treatment if you feel any of the following signs or symptoms:

    Discomfort or difficulty with chewing

    Pain or tenderness in your face, jaw or ear

    Painful clicking in your jaw

    Difficulty opening or closing your mouth

    Waking up with a headache in your temporal lobe area (above your ears)

    Locking of the jaw, which is when the jaw stops on opening or closing

    Teeth not meeting properly when biting or chewing

     

    Causes 

    There are many factors involved with TMJ problems, but the following have been linked to provoking  symptoms:

    *Trauma

    Stress and anxiety

    Clenching and grinding of the teeth

    Rheumatoid arthritis

     

    Treatment

    Symptoms often settle on their own, especially if you have recent stress or anxiety has played a part.

    When symptoms persist, your dentist may suggest:

    Reducing stress

    Avoiding chewing gum

    Trying not to yawn widely

    Applying an ice pack

    Performing jaw exercises prescribed by your dentist

    *Gentle physiotherapy which may also include exercises

    Taking over the counter anti-inflammatory pain relief

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