The Temporomandibular Joint or TMJ is the joint that keeps the jaw attached to the skull. It supports the movement of the jaw and keeps it intact. There is a disc-like structure in the joint that facilitates smooth movement of the jaw and acts as a shock absorber. The eroding of this disc like structure causes pain in the jaw muscles and hurts every time you chew, talk, or yawn. According to the Temporomandibular Joint Society of Canada, 1,102,000 people are suffering from TMJ disorders.
Here is a list of TMJ signs and symptoms:
Signs That You Might Have TMJ
While chewing on hard food or taking a bite from an apple, a normal adult may hear his jaws click. This occurrence is common, but not ideal for anyone who claims to have healthy jaws and cartilages. If you start hearing the click more often, it’s a sign of concern. Such sounds show that the temporomandibular joint has gone through wear and tear. And if you feel pain around your jaw and ears when you chew your food for a long time, you might want to visit the dentist.
TMJ causes severe pain in the jaw muscles that facilitate chewing, talking and yawning. In many cases, this disorder is minimal and can be cured by painkillers and other commonplace methods of treatment, like an ice-pack on the jaw near the temple. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen can be used to ease the pain and relax the jaw muscles. But if there are prolonged periods of pain visit the dentist immediately.
Symptoms That Show You Have TMJ
The Temporomandibular Joint disorder shares its symptoms with other dental health problems. For example, tooth decay and TMJ both share jaw pain problems in common. So, sometimes people suffering from tooth decay are misled into believing its TMJ. You should always check with the dentist before taking any medications. Most come TMJ symptoms include:
- Muscle soreness around the ear and jaw area, including sudden spasms of pain
- Pain around or in the ear
-Trouble while chewing hard food or drinking water
- Issues with the functioning of the joint or lockjaw
- Swelling of the jaw muscles
- Tiring face muscles
- Other problems like dizziness, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), toothaches, and pain in the neck muscles
Causes of TMJ Disorder
Stress is an integral part of our lives and affects everyone in different ways. Stress is also an important factor in the occurrence of TMJ. People with stress disorders tend to clench or grind their teeth very often. This damages the shock absorbing tissue between the jaw and the skull. Accidents and sudden impact on the jaw or neck muscles can also lead to injuries in the Temporomandibular Joint.
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, visit a dentist at Tru Smiles today!