What are the Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorders?

First, it’s useful to know that TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint.  Temporo refers to the upper temporal bone, and the mandible is your jaw bone.  The 2 joints where they meet (one on each side) are the articular disc joints, which don’t need to be described here.  You can learn more about the particulars on Wikipedia if you’re of the nerdy persuasion. 🙂

TMJ disorders or dysfunctions are abbreviated as TMD (not TMJ – the abbreviation for the actual joint), and come in several forms.  These can include:

  • Jaw stiffness
  • Neck pains
  • General soreness or pain in the face
  • Your teeth don’t come together well when you’re chewing
  • Pain in the jaw – both when eating and while still
  • Popping in the jaws when chewing
  • Pain or difficulty when chewing
  • Having  a hard time opening or closing your mouth
  • Your jaw feeling “locked” in one position
  • Pain originating around the ears
  • Recurring headaches

While having these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a TMD, if you are experiencing some of the symptoms on a regular basis, you should ask your dentist about your symptoms on your next scheduled visit – or call your dentist if your symptoms become worse.

There are treatments that can help, and remember that it’s often easier to treat ailments such as TMD earlier as opposed to after damage has been done by leaving issues un-addressed.

Contact Dr. Mullins at My Family Dentistry for an appointment if you believe you’re having issues that could be a TMJ disorder.

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