TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, the connection between your lower jaw (mandible) to your skull at the temporal bone. This joint lets you move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn. If the muscles or the joint itself are causing you pain, you may have temporomandibular disorder, or TMD. TMD can be caused by injuries, arthritis, stress, continual clenching of the jaw muscles, or teeth grinding. TMD often causes severe pain and discomfort affecting one or both sides of your face. Some of the symptoms of TMD are:
- Pain when opening or closing mouth
- Trouble chewing
- Jaw becoming stuck open or shut
- Headaches or ear pain
- Clicking or popping sounds when opening your mouth
- Teeth Grinding
If you suspect you may have TMD, come in for a consultation. Dr. Panchumarti can diagnose you and provide relief for your symptom as well as solutions to the underlying issues. Pain relievers and hot/cold compresses are short term methods to deal with the pain. A custom night guard can help prevent or lessen the effects of teeth grinding at night. This can lead to a more permanent solution. In very severe cases, TMD surgery may be required, but behavioral treatments to change the way you use your jaw muscles are usually enough to provide relief.