What is TMJ?

What is TMJ

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temporomandibular joint syndrome

While it is sometimes misunderstood – what is TMJ or temporomandibular joint syndrome? In fact, the explanation of this condition is really not that complex. The temporomandibular joint connects the skull and the jaw. When this joint becomes damaged or injured in some way it may result in chronic pain known as TMJ or temporomandibular joint syndrome. Everything from injury to the jaw, to teeth that are misaligned or even a jaw that is not correctly joined can result in TMJ. In addition, the clenching or grinding of teeth as well as arthritis, gum chewing, stress or even poor posture can result in this sometimes very painful condition.

Localized Ear Pain

Those who think they may have TMJ should know that there are a few clear and obvious symptoms associated with the condition. For example, if the jaw clicks or pops or is constantly in pain this may be a clear sign that TMJ is present. In addition, everything from earaches to localized ear pain or popping sounds in the ears can indicate that the condition is present. Other common symptoms include locking of the jaw joint as well as temporal pain and sore or stiff muscles in and around the jaw area. Some patients report debilitating and chronic headaches as well.

Ice Packs on the Joints

The good news is that there are many remedies for TMJ disorder. Temporary relief can be achieved through ice packs on the joints or even over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. Those who frequently chew gum should avoid this activity as it may aggravate TMJ. Reducing stress in one’s life can also help with the disorder. If home treatment does not achieve the desired results than medical care may be necessary. Dental splints and a wide range of other dental treatments can be used to help with the condition. In more severe cases surgery may be the best solution.

Dizziness and Vertigo
Dizziness and Vertigo

The effects of TMJ can be far-reaching to the point where it may even result in shoulder pain or dizziness and vertigo. It is a serious condition that should not be overlooked and is best addressed by a professional in the dental or medical field. Some patients even report pain at the base of the tongue as well as cheek pain, numbness in the chin and tingling or muscle spasms around the jaw area. Other more severe cases have even reported blurred vision as a result of what can sometimes be a very troublesome condition. At the end of the day it is always best to talk with your dental care provider if you think that you may be suffering from this condition. Talk with your Pinole dentists, Azadeh Hosseini, DDS and Ghazal Hosseini, DDS at Top Pinole Dental today for more information.

References:
[1] Do I Need TMJ Treatment
[2] When Should I Wear a Night Guard?

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