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If you have persistent jaw pain, tension headaches, or even worn teeth, you may be suffering from TMJ, also known as TMD, which is a structural jaw disorder. We are experienced in treating patients with TMJ/TMD, and urge you to make an appointment if you are suffering from symptoms related to this disorder.
TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint dysfunction, is a fairly common problem. It affects nearly 30 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 40 years old, and it is more commonly seen in women. Some of the most common symptoms of TMJ include:
- Tension headaches, especially if they interfere with everyday activities
- Jaw clenching
- Jaw pain
- Limited jaw mobility
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Teeth grinding
- Back, shoulder, and neck pain or stiffness
- Earaches and ringing in the ears
Before we begin any treatment, our dentists will administer a series of tests to see if your symptoms are the result of TMJ. We’ll do a physical exam and take X-rays to get a better look at your jawbone. If we diagnose you with TMJ, we will develop a personalized treatment plan for you to relieve your pain and discomfort. Mouthguards can help hold your jaw in the correct position, especially overnight. Stretching and strengthening exercises have also been shown to relieve TMJ issues. Other treatment options include medications, surgery, and injections. We always take the most conservative route possible to give you relief, and we go over your options and treatment recommendations with you in detail.
What’s the difference between TMJ and TMD?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints, the joints and muscles that let you open and close your mouth. TMD stands for temporomandibular disorders. The term encompasses any disorder that keeps you from properly opening and closing your mouth. In dentistry, we often use the two acronyms interchangeably to refer to jaw disorders.
What do you do for TMJ?
If we suspect that you are suffering from TMJ dysfunction, we will do a physical exam and take X-rays. This lets us get to the bottom of your jaw pain and stiffness. If we determine that you do have TMJ dysfunction, we can go over your treatment options, which range from over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to oral appliances to surgery. We want you to feel comfortable with your treatment, so we’ll go over all your options in detail and help you determine which is best for your needs and lifestyle.
How do I know if I have TMJ?
The only way to know with any certainty is to come to our office for an evaluation. But if you suffer from frequent headaches, jaw pain or clenching, limited jaw mobility, teeth grinding, dizziness, frequent earaches, or ringing in the ears, or if your jaw makes a loud clicking or popping noise when you open and close your mouth, you may have TMJ. Schedule an appointment with our team so we can go over your symptoms, take a look at your jaw, and determine if TMJ treatment is right for you.