How TMJ Might Be Affecting You (And What To Do About It)

TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) is a common problem that’s estimated to affect between 5-12% of American adults in their lifetime. While it’s more common in men than women, it can affect anyone of any age. In fact, you might have TMJ and not even know it.

So how can you recognize TMJ and get the help you need? In this blog from SmileSpot, we’ll tell you everything you need to know. Read on, and learn with us.

What Is TMJ? Understanding The Basics

TMJ is short for “temporomandibular joint disorder.” This refers to the dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint, which is located underneath each of your ears. This delicate joint connects the jaw to the skull, allowing us to move our mouths when we chew, speak, bite, and more. 

If this joint becomes damaged, infected, or inflamed, it won’t work properly. This results in TMJ, which can cause a lot of different issues including jaw pain, an inability to open and close your mouth properly, and more. 

How TMJ Might Be Affecting You: Recognizing Common Signs & Symptoms

So, how can you know if TMJ is affecting you? Let’s take a look at a few of the most common signs and symptoms of this disorder now. 

  • Jaw pain, discomfort & stiffness – If you notice that your jaw muscles feel tired, achy, or painful, this could be due to TMJ. TMJ can affect not just your temporomandibular joint, but the muscles all throughout your jaw.

  • Migraine headaches – The pain from TMJ can spread throughout your jaw and skull, causing migraine headaches. If you’re getting unexplained migraines and you are also experiencing stiffness or pain in your jaw, you may have TMJ.

  • Trouble moving or opening your jaw – If you find that you can’t open your jaw all the way without stiffness or pain, you may have TMJ or a related issue with your jaw joints and muscles.

  • Clicking or popping noises when moving your jaw – If your jaw frequently makes clicking and popping sounds when in a certain position, this could indicate an issue with your temporomandibular joint.

  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) – Teeth grinding isn’t actually a symptom of TMJ. Instead, it can cause TMJ. The excessive pressure of clenching and grinding the teeth can damage your TMJ and put stress on your jaw muscles. If you grind your teeth regularly and start to experience jaw pain, you may have TMJ due to teeth grinding.

What Can I Do About TMJ? How Can I Get Help? 

If you have TMJ, don't worry. You have options for TMJ treatment at SmileSpot. Many mild cases of TMJ can be resolved with lifestyle changes, and by doing things like wearing a night guard to minimize grinding. Additionally, Dr. David Pham can create a custom-built TMJ appliance to shift your jaw into a healthier position, and encourage your temporomandibular joint to heal. 

TMJ is a serious problem, however. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can resolve your condition. To learn more about oral appliance therapy for TMJ, contact SmileSpot for a consultation with Dr. Pham now.

Got TMJ In Brea? Contact SmileSpot For A Consultation! 

As an experienced dentist, Dr. David Pham can determine the cause of your TMJ, identify the best solution, and develop a treatment plan to provide you with relief from the pain and discomfort of your condition. Contact us online to get started, or give us a call at (714) 257-6453 to schedule your appointment.

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