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What is TMJ disorder?

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and muscle disorders, also known as TMJ disorders, can cause dysfunction and pain in the jaw joint and the surrounding muscles that control jaw movement. Specifically, TMJ is the joint hinging the lower jaw to the skull, giving the lower jaw the mobility to open and close the mouth.


What are the symptoms of TMJ disorders?

Symptoms include a dull ache pain in the jaw joint and the surrounding areas, such as the ear. However, some people claim to have no pain but have dysfunction in the jaw. Other symptoms include pain in the neck & shoulders, migraine and/or chronic headache, tooth sensitivity, jaw muscle stiffness, limited movement or locking of the jaw,  pressure and/or ringing in the ears, painful clicking in the jaw joint, popping or grating when opening and closing of the mouth. Dizziness and vision problems may also be related to TMJ.


What causes TMJ pain and disorders?

Several reasons can contribute to TMJ pain and disorder; some causes are due to the clenching and or grinding of the teeth, stress, injuries in the jaw area, different forms of arthritis. Additionally, genes and/or hormones, infection, auto-immune diseases, and some dental treatments can also cause TMJ disorders


How to treat TMJ pain and disorders?

Fortunately, many common jaw joint and muscle problems are not permanent, lasting only a few weeks or months. Typically, hot or cold compresses, over-the-counter medications are what patients need to relive their pain and discomfort. Lastly, customized nightguards can significantly stop and prevent TMJ pain.

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