Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ for short, is a condition that affects the jaw joints. This condition is also referred to as TMD and can cause pain in the jaw joints and the muscles that control jaw movement. Other symptoms of TMJ include earaches, headaches, neck aches, backaches, and even dizziness.
The temporomandibular joints are located on each side of the mouth in a joint capsule that moves during the opening and closing of the mouth. Many muscles are attached to these jaw joints that cause the opening and closing movement and aid chewing. A malfunction in the jaw joint area can result in various symptoms. If you experience persistent pain in your jaw joints or facial muscles, you should visit Monterey Peninsula Smiles for an evaluation. If left untreated, TMJ can permanently damage the jaw joints.
The Symptoms of TMJ
Temporomandibular joint disorder symptoms can manifest as jaw pain, headaches or migraines, and tinnitus. Because these symptoms can result from several conditions, it’s essential to consult your dentist to determine the root cause of your symptoms.
The most common cause of TMD is a misaligned bite that causes uneven wear on the surfaces of the teeth. This can lead to pain when chewing or talking. It can also put too much pressure on the biting surfaces of your teeth, leading to tooth sensitivity. If not properly treated, this can lead to tooth decay and loss.
Another common cause is the grinding of the teeth while sleeping. This puts unnecessary force on the teeth and can cause fractures or small chips in the enamel. Over time, this can break down the protective layers of your teeth and cause severe damage.
Various treatment options are available for treating temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), depending on the severity and specifics of each case. Some conditions can be treated with at-home remedies or over-the-counter medications. More severe cases may benefit from a consultation with an orthodontist who can create a custom oral appliance or other treatment options to treat TMD.
Orthodontics may be used to reposition the jaw to relieve pain caused by TMD. This may involve placing crowns on the teeth to prevent them from grinding together and moving them into correct positions inside the mouth. Splints and night guards may also be recommended to help prevent the teeth from touching and reduce the effects of bruxism.
Visit Monterey Peninsula Smiles at 3154 De Forest Rd Suite A, Marina 93933 for the best dental care customized to your specific needs.