Your TMJ or temporomandibular joints are located on the left and right side of your face and connect your jaw to the top of your mouth.
The hinges are what allow you to open and close your mouth, talk and eat. The bones that interact in the TMJ are separated and covered by a disk that absorbs shock and keeps the TMJ movement smooth. If you have a problem with your TMJ, you could be suffering from TMJ disorder. Although some refer to the disorder as TMJ, it is actually TMD as TMJ refers to the joint, not the disorder.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
Although TMD is often hard to determine, the pain in your jaw could be genetic, or it could be caused from arthritis or a jaw injury. Stress can also cause TMJ disorders if you grind or clench your teeth. However, not all people with bruxism develop TMD.
You May Have a Problem with your temporomandibular joints if:
- Arthritis has caused damage to the joint
- The joint has been hit
- Disk erosion has occurred moving the TMJ out of proper alignment
You Could be At Risk if You:
- Suffer from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
- Suffer a jaw injury
- Are a chronic tooth clincher or grinder
- Suffer from connective tissue disease that could cause issues with your TMJ
TMJ Disorder Signs
- Jaw tenderness or pain
- Pain in your jaw joints
- Facial pain
- Difficulty or pain when you chew
- Earaches or pain around your ears
- Have a hard time opening and closing your mouth
- Here a clicking sound when you chew or open and close your mouth
Orange Coast Cosmetic Dentistry recommends custom-made mouth guards or oral splints to help ease the problems associated with temporomandibular joint disorder. Custom-made mouth guards help keep your temporomandibular joints stable while you sleep and can even help correct the problem.