07 Dec Don’t Let TMJ Leave You Speechless This Holiday Season
If you are experiencing pain while talking, chewing or yawning, you may want to visit a TMJ specialist.
Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) result due to problems with the jaw, the jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull. The surrounding muscles allow the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side.
Common Causes of TMJ Disorders:
- Injury to the head and neck – such as from a heavy blow or whiplash
- Grinding or clenching the teeth
- Dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket
- Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ
People with TMJ disorders can experience severe pain and discomfort that can be temporary or may last for many years. A unique case is Jenny Craig’s experience when she stripped all the muscles in her face and lost control over the muscles controlling the TMJ. According to her interview on Larry king Live, it took multiple surgeries plus years of physical and speech therapy for her to regain control back over her jaw muscles. This is not a commonly diagnosed issue but is a great example of how important the TMJ really is.
Common Symptoms of TMJ disorders:
- Headaches, Neck Aches, Earaches
- Hearing Problems/ Ringing in the ears (Tinnitis).
- Pain or Tenderness in the Face, Jaw, Upper Shoulder or Ears
- Jaws that get “Stuck” or “Locked”
- Clicking, Popping, or Grating Sounds
Because many other conditions can cause similar symptoms to TMD – including a toothache, sinus problems, arthritis, or gum disease – your dentist will conduct a careful patient history and physical examination to determine the cause of your symptoms.