Hornchurch Dentist

Jaw pain

Temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ

Suffering from jaw pain and migraine headaches?

TMJ Disorder specialist

What is TMJ disorder?

Dr Rajiv Sheth is currently undertaking a masters in advanced restorative dentistry at Kings College London and this training enables him to undertake and treat complex restorative dentistry cases where TMJ disorders and bite problems need to be resolved.

TMJ disorder is a term used to describe issues that affect the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that connects your skull to your lower jaw and it has a number of important functions, including enabling you to chew your food, speak clearly, open your mouth and bite down hard on things such as an apple. You can feel your joint working if you place your fingers on the side of your face just in front of your ear lobes and then open your mouth.

The temporomandubular joint is used very frequently and this can result in a range of issues, which are classified under the umbrella term of TMJ disorders.

TMJ disorder symptoms

TMJ disorder is not a condition in itself, but it relates to a number of symptoms, which affect the temporomandibular joint. Symptoms include:

  • clicking and popping noises in the jaw
  • headaches and migraines
  • pain behind the eyes
  • restricted jaw movement
  • pain in the facial muscles
  • pain when you move the joint
  • stiffness in the jaw
  • worn teeth
  • broken fillings
  • uneven surface on the inside of the cheek

TMJ syndrome can also cause pain in the neck, back and shoulders.

Cause of jaw pain

There are several possible causes of TMJ disorder. One common cause is bruxism, which is also known as teeth grinding. Most people do not know that they grind their teeth because they do it during the night.

Another cause of TMJ disorder is poor alignment of the teeth. The way the top and bottom sets of teeth fit together is known as the bite. Issues with the bite can cause pain and stiffness in the facial muscles and may also result in symptoms such as cracked and uneven teeth.

If you have symptoms of TMJ disorder it is advisable to see your dentist as they can help to establish the cause of your discomfort and decided upon a suitable course of action.

Jaw Pain, Teeth Grinding, Headaches & Migraines, Jaw Clenching

TMJ treatment

The treatment plan for TMJ disorder varies from patient to patient, as TMJ disorder can be caused by various different factors and the cause often determines the treatment.

In cases where bruxism is suspected to be the cause, a protective mouth guard may be recommended. This will help to prevent tooth to tooth contact during the night.

Stress is often linked to TMJ disorder and stress-management techniques can be very helpful. This may include breathing exercises and meditation, massage therapy, exercise and simply taking time out.

Muscle massage may also help and many people find that warm compresses ease muscular pain. In some cases it is best to stick to a soft food diet.

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    Hacton Dental Care
    1 Hacton Lane
    Hornchurch
    Essex
    RM12 6PH
    t: 01708 447603
    e: reception@hactondentalcare.com