Temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJSuffering from jaw pain and migraine headaches?
TMJ Disorder specialist
What is TMJ disorder?
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
- 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
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
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.