TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint where your lower jaw (the mandible) meets the temporal bone of your skull. The acronym can also refer to TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder. TMD occurs when the jaw joint moves out of alignment. TMJ treatment helps reduce the discomfort of this condition while shifting the joint back into the proper position.
What Is The TMJ?
The TMJ joint facilitates all mouth movement. These temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are located on each side of the face just beneath the earlobe. The TMJ connects the lower mandible (jawbone) to the skull.
What are the Symptoms and Causes of TMD?
TMD produces a range of symptoms, many of which could indicate other problems. This is one of the things that makes TMD difficult to diagnose. These symptoms can include:
- Persistent headaches
- Pain in the jaw
- Clicking in the jaw joint
- Discomfort or stiffness in the shoulders or upper back
- Clenching or grinding
People with TMD can experience just one of these symptoms or many. In some cases, such as with earaches and headaches, the symptoms could be related to another, more serious problem. If you have any of these symptoms but are not sure they’re caused by TMD, you should have a dentist or doctor diagnose your condition in case you have a more serious underlying issue.
What TMJ Treatment Is There?
Treatment for TMJ varies depending upon the underling cause and the specific symptoms. TMJ can occur due to a physical misalignment of the jaw joint caused by malocclusion. However, it can also occur because of stress. Stress can lead to teeth grinding, which can then cause TMJ. At the same time, misalignment of either the jaw joint or the teeth can cause TMJ, which can then cause you to grind your teeth. TMJ diagnoses by a dental professional takes these issues into account so you can receive the best possible treatment.
TMJ treatment can include:
Orthodontic treatment such as braces for malocclusion
- Mouthguards to wear at night
- Stress relief exercises
- Surgery on the joint
Your dentist will start with the least invasive option and then try more drastic treatments if the response is not satisfactory. Call our team today if you have questions!