If you're experiencing persistent or recurring pain in your jaw, popping or clicking noises when you open your mouth, and changes in the way your teeth fit together or bite down, you may have TMJ disorder, a common ailment with no one particular cause or treatment.
TMJ stands for temperomandibular joint, the ball and socket joint that joins the jaw to the sides of the skull. This joint sees heavy use, as we use it every time we open and close our mouths. As a result, the joint is prone to developing issues, which can be made worse by other conditions such as bruxism (teeth grinding), arthritis, existing bite issues, or injury. When the TMJ joint begins to develop issues, it can present as headaches, jaw pain, ear pain, or noises in the jaw (pops or clicks), as well as other symptoms.
The treatment for TMJ depends on the patient and the severity of the issue, but common options are mouth guards, jaw adjustments, jaw exercises, or medications. The first step to figuring out the treatment that's best for you is to properly diagnose your TMJ, which your dentist will do via an examination and x-rays. After that, we'll work with you to develop a treatment plan we can monitor for results and effectiveness.
TMJ is treatable, so don't ignore any of those telltale signs. Come in and ask your friendly team at Coastline Dental. We're always here to help you when you need it!