What is TMJ or TMD?
TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint disorder, also called TMD. This is a neuromuscular condition, characterized by a misaligned jaw that causes pain or discomfort in your jaw joint and surrounding muscles. A bite that is out of alignment prohibits your jaw muscles from ever fully relaxing. The result is muscle tension, and difficulty sleeping, chewing or making facial expressions.
What causes TMJ?
There is no one cause of TMJ. Your jaw joint and surrounding muscles have a delicate and complex balance that can be affected by many factors. TMJ may be the result of one specific factor or a combination of causes, such as:
- Deterioration of the cushioning disc between the surfaces of your bones
- Sudden injury or impact to one or both of your jaw joints
- Repetitive motions, such as excessive gum chewing
- Frequent bad posture
- Clenching or grinding your teeth, which can slowly push your jaw joints out of alignment
- Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis
If I experience pain in my jaw joint, does that mean I have TMJ?
It might, but not necessarily. A majority of people experience occasional discomfort or pain in their jaw joint without having to undergo treatment. However, if your pain becomes increasingly severe or hinders your daily activities, you should see Dr. Gordon Chee to find out if your bite is misaligned.
What are some signs and symptoms that I may have TMJ?
TMJ symptoms are commonly confused with other ailments and may disguise themselves as another condition. Some of these include:
- Jaw pain, popping, or clicking
- Forward head posture
- Headaches and migraines
- Neck pain, shoulder pain or upper back pain
- Blurred vision
- Tooth pain
- Soreness in your face
- Jaw grinding
- Ringing in your ears
Calgary general dentist Dr. Gordon Chee is a trained TMJ dentist who can help diagnose and treat a misaligned bite to alleviate your painful TMD symptoms. Please call 403-543-4600 or contact the Aesthetic Dental Studio dental care team through the form on this page to set up your complimentary consultation.