The temporomandibular joint is the jaw joint and the muscles that surround it. It’s incredibly common for people to experience stress and pain in their jaw bone. This is referred to as temporomandibular joint disorder. TMJ and TMD are often used to describe this discomfort in your jaw. Nearly 3 million Americans experience this every year.

Symptoms

Have you ever experienced clicking or popping sounds while you’re chewing? What about pain and discomfort when opening your mouth widely? If you’ve experienced any or all of these symptoms then you might just have a temporomandibular disorder. This can be uncomfortable and inconvenient but the good news is that it’s a common problem and is very treatable.

Causes

TMJ can be caused by one large event or many small ones. For example, if you’ve experienced some trauma in the neck, face, or head then it could have created or aggravated your jaw problems. However, if you’ve got some bad habits such as nail-biting, teeth grinding, or excessive gum chewing that too could be contributing to your jaw stress. Also, misalignment of your jaw, general stress and anxiety, braces, and more can all cause or aggravate your situation.

Treatment Options

The treatment option that is best for you will depend on your specific situation, needs, and wants. For example, if your TMJ problems are being caused by your stress then general stress relief techniques can be practiced such as breathing exercises and other forms of self-care. Or if you need more help you could try the following: mouthguards, anti-inflammatories, and muscle relaxants. TMJ can often be treated at home but in more extreme cases, you may need the help of a dentist.

If you’re experiencing pain or soreness in your jaw, come into our office and see what we can do to help you!