The TMJ is the Temporal Mandibular Joint, the joint that connects the lower jaw to your upper jaw and skull. It is a complex joint and unique joint in the body because of the many types of motion it has. There are many muscles and ligaments that move the joint every time we talk, eat or swallow.
When the jaw joint or associated muscles and ligaments become painful, the condition is known as TMD or Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction.
There are a number of symptoms associated with TMD including:
- Headaches (they are one of the most common complaints of TMD)
- Clicking, popping or grating noises in the jaw joint
- Sore muscles in the temples or face
- Unable to open wide or locking of the jaw
- Clenching or grinding of the teeth
- Ear aches, ringing in the ears with no ear infections or medical condition
There are a number of factors that make a person more prone to TMD problems.
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Bad bites (deep overbite, crowding or crooked teeth)
- Missing teeth (especially back molars)
- Previous injuries to the jaw (car accidents, sports injuries)
We will do a TMJ screening exam for you at your check up appointments. If you have TMJ Dysfunction, we will discuss with you an extended examination and the treatment options.