TMJ disorder can occur when the jaw joint and the surrounding muscles that control the jaw become dysfunctional. As a result, you’ll hear a popping and clicking noise when you open and close your mouth to eat or talk. The bones may also grind at the joint, which neither you or your dinner companions will appreciate. Your jaw might even lock mid-bite or mid-sentence and you could be limited in how far you can actually open your mouth for that huge burger.
While these noises and limitations can be annoying, the worst part of TMD is the excruciating pain that it can cause with headaches and migraines. The pain can begin in the jaw and radiate throughout your face, neck and shoulders.
TMJ disorder can also cause other issues that you might not even connect with your jaw, such as breathing concerns from restricted airways and hearing problems. If you suffer from ringing, buzzing, hissing, pain in your ears, or hearing loss it might be a result of a TMJ disorder.
If chronic pain in your face, neck, back and shoulders is causing you to rely on pain medication or anti-depressants to get through your day, you should seek help from a dentist.
There are non-surgical options available to relieve the symptoms of TMJ. Treatments involve aligning the upper and lower jaws to decompress the jaw joints and heal the muscles to improve function. This can be done with removable appliances called orthotics or bite guard. The earlier the problem is treated the better chance of eliminating issues before they become chronic. Children who have jaw concerns can be helped greatly with orthodontics before any symptoms and damage occur…read more
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