What is TMJ?

If you have noticed your jaw clicking when you chew food or gum, you may be experiencing the early signs of TMJ. TMJ, also called the temporomandibular joint, is the joint responsibility for the movement of the jaw. This joint connects your jawbone to your skull, and allows you to have the movement you need to eat, speak, and drink. When this joint begins to experience trouble, there are a number of TMJ disorders you could experience.

Signs of a TMJ Disorder

Most disorders involving the temporomandibular joint begin with the person experiencing some type of pain. This can be pain during eating or drinking, or it can be an overall sense of pain when the person is doing regular activities, such as yawning. The jaw may feel tender, the face could feel sore, or the pain may radiate through the ear. Any of these symptoms should prompt you to go and get yourself checked. You should go visit your doctor, and if he or she suspects TMJ, they will likely send you to a dentist or specialist that works specifically on these disorders.

Causes of TMJ Disorders

Pain in the jaw joint could come from numerous different causes. You could experience pain from the joint eroding after repeated use, or you may experience pain after the joint became infected with arthritis. The pain could also come after some type of an impact or injury to the joint. With the small disc that resides inside the jaw joint normally keeping the motion smooth, if this disc becomes injured or damaged for some reason, this motion become bumpy, grinding, and painful.

TMJ disorders sometimes have no cause, but if you suspect that you are starting to develop one, you need to go and be evaluated by either a doctor or a dentist. The sooner your disorder is diagnosed, the more can be done to help your pain decrease and more of your joint can be spared from degradation.

If you believe that you are starting to develop a TMJ disorder, contact Progressive Dental Care Center and find out what the next steps are.

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