TMJ Disorders

TMD & your Temporomandibular Joint

The temporomandibular joint is the jaw's hinge, located at the front of each ear, which enables it to move up and down, in order to speak and chew. Pain in these joints is known as TMD (temporomandibular disorder).

While a specific cause of TMD remains widely unknown, members of the dental industry often attribute pain in this area to problems with the actual jaw muscle, as well as with the joints themselves. These problems can often be caused by:

Adult man wincing in pain pressing on his jaw
  • Heavy impact to the jaw
  • Grinding or clenching teeth
  • Arthritis
  • General life stress causing us to tighten jaw muscles.

Symptoms of TMD

The most common symptom attributed to TMD is severe facial or jaw pain, and is frequently experienced by people between the ages of 20 and 40. In addition to jaw pain, symptoms include:

  • Trouble opening your mouth to its full capacity
  • Upper and lower teeth not aligning properly when your mouth is closed
  • "Lock jaw", or your jaw getting stuck in an opened or closed position
  • Clicking and popping sounds, or a rough sensation when you chew or open your mouth
  • Swelling, or thickening, of the muscles on the sides of your face
  • Headaches
  • Earaches and hearing problems, such as ringing
  • Dizziness
  • Neck and shoulder pain

TMD & your Dentist

During your dental checkup, mention any jaw pain you may be experiencing. Your dentist will be able to conduct various examinations in order to determine the cause of the discomfort.

Many times, conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease can cause symptoms similar to TMD.

By checking your jaw joints for pain, listening for abnormal sounds, and testing your bite, your dentist will be able to rule out common dental causes.

Dental and facial x-rays, performed by a licensed general dentist, will also provide a clearer view into what may be causing the condition and, if necessary, will permit your dentist to refer you to an oral surgeon, or orthodontist, for specialized treatment.

TMJ & TMD Treatment

If your everyday lifestyle is being hindered by persistent jaw pain, contact your Edmonton dentist at the Azarko Dental Group to schedule an appointment, and let us get to the root of the problem.

Contact the Azarko Dental Group

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