Tempromandibular joint syndrome or TMJ is a condition where the axis that connects the upper jaw to your lower jaw is not working properly. This joint may be small but any irregularity will cause dysfunction in your jaw.
There are a lot of causes for TMJ so it is not possible to cover them all in on a single article. For instance, the muscles that allow your jaw to move may also be affected, which may be misdiagnosed as well. It is best to consult one of our oral and maxillofacial surgeons to make the correct diagnosis.
HOW DO I KNOW I HAVE TMJ?
The causes of TMJ are myriad. It could be a result of years of teeth grinding, misalignment in the jaw or your teeth, stress, poor eating and chewing habits, poor posture and arthritis. We have found that stress is also one of the common factors that can cause a lockjaw.
SO WHEN DO YOU CONSULT AN ORAL SPECIALIST?
If you hear some strange sounds, like clicking or popping whenever you open your mouth, it may not necessarily be painful right away, then it is time to see a dentist.
Second, if you notice limited movement in your jaw. For instance, you cannot open your mouth wide enough without feeling any discomfort or pain.
In connection to this, you may experience difficulty in chewing, as well. Third, a dull pain in your ear may also be connected to TMJ. You may see an ear specialist, which may recommend a treatment totally unrelated to your condition.
Another symptom is constant headaches, although this one alone is not a red flag for TMD. If you hear clicking sounds in your jaw, on top of the headache, then you better see us right away.
We recommend that you see us right away if you feel any of these symptoms. TMJ is a serious condition if left untreated. The good news is that it is easily treated, as well.