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What is TMJ?

May 5, 2016

If you experience some pain in your jaw, it could be TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder. This means that the hinge that connects the upper and lower jaw is not working properly. This hinge is also one of the most complex joints in your body, since it is responsible for moving the lower jaw forward, backward, and side-to-side. If there is a problem with any muscle, ligament, disc, or bone from working as it should be, this is know as TMJ. Typically, it will feel like your jaw is popping, clicking, or feels like it is getting stuck for a few seconds.


Sometimes it may be difficult to know if you have TMJ or not. There are some symptoms you might notice that would indicate TMJ. You can also come in and we can diagnosis what the issue is by taking the appropriate x-rays and dental history. Some of the symptoms can include:

  • Headaches

  • Earaches

  • Jaw muscle tenderness

  • Clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouth

  • Pain from yawning or chewing

  • Swelling in the face


There is not a single cure for TMJ but there are several treatments that you can follow. This can help reduce the symptoms dramatically. You can take some over the counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs. By reducing the amount that you clench or grind your teeth, you can reduce the symptoms of TMJ. Having a mouth guard while you sleep will help your teeth from grinding against one another. You can also learn relaxation techniques that help reduce the muscle tension in your jaw. No matter what pain you experience for your mouth, make sure to contact us and schedule an appointment. If you ignore the issue, it can become worse over time.

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