November is TMJ Awareness Month, and Vincent Team Orthodontics in Sandy, Utah is here to explain what it is and how we help. Chewing should be second nature and an enjoyable experience for all people. But if you’re constantly feeling a popping sensation when you open your mouth, you quickly lose your appetite. Pain follows in your jaw joint, and you find yourself avoiding eating, talking, or using your jaw for anything.
What is the TMJ Joint?
The TMJ is the temporomandibular joint, or the joint that connects the lower jaw to the rest of the head. The term “TMJ” is often used to refer to TMJ disorder, also called TMD, which occurs when the jaw joint becomes stressed, injured or misaligned. TMJ disorder may result due to several different factors, such as stress, bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching), arthritis in the TMJ, or trauma and injury to the head, neck or jaw.
Your jaw consists of a jawbone connected to the skull by two joints, one on each side of your face. The hinge action of this joint helps you chew, yawn, and talk. If this joint does not work properly, it will pop.
Medical experts refer to this popping or cracking sensation as a dysfunction of the TMJ or temporomandibular joint. Professionals use the term TMJ interchangeably to refer to both the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull and the disorder that leads to its cracking and popping. They will also refer to the disorder as TMD or TMJD.
What are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?
You may suffer from TMD if you experience frequent jaw pain or facial pain. TMJ disorders may also cause:
- Grinding, clicking or popping sounds in the jaw when you open and close your mouth
- Inability to open your mouth wide to speak, yawn or chew
- A locked or stuck jaw
- Pain when chewing and biting
- Pain in the neck, shoulders or ears
- Frequent headaches
Our orthodontist can help you determine the cause of your TMJ disorder and recommend the appropriate treatment. Treatment for the TMJ will depend on the cause and severity of your TMJ disorder. TMD treatment may include jaw and facial relaxation exercises, lifestyle changes, restorative dental treatments, a mouth guard or night guard, or jaw surgery. To learn more about TMJ treatment and schedule your consultation with our orthodontist, we encourage you to contact us today.
Schedule an Appointment with Us in Sandy, Utah
A damaged TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, can result in facial and dental pain and frequent headaches. Because a TMJ disorder often results from an incorrect bite, Dr. Scott Vincent offers treatment for the TMJ in Sandy, Utah. Our orthodontist and team can determine the cause of your discomfort and recommend the appropriate treatment for your specific condition. Please contact Vincent Team Orthodontics if you are struggling with a painful TMJ. Click to contact and request an appointment.