TMJ Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, and When to Seek Professional Help

Throbbing pain in the facial muscles, specifically in the jaw, and difficulty in chewing, can be troublesome to anyone. This condition may also compromise an individual’s day-to-day life, causing them to have sleepless nights and a lot of discomforts. These symptoms can be an indication of a condition called TMJ disorder.

TMJ is an acronym for temporomandibular joint located on the side of the head in front of each ear. The joint acts as a hinge responsible for connecting the jaw to the temporal bones of the skull. It allows the movement of the jaw so that an individual can comfortably talk, chew, and yawn. Problems that affect the jaw and the muscles in the face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD) or TMJ disorder. The exact cause of this condition is often difficult to determine because the pain may be due to a combination of factors.

TMJ disorder

What are the possible causes of TMJ disorder?

  • Injury to the jaw, the joint, or the muscles of the head and neck
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth
  • Arthritis
  • Stress
  • Movement of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket of the joint

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?

A TMJ disorder is associated with severe pain and discomfort, which can be temporary or may last for years. This condition may affect one or both sides of the face. Here are the common symptoms of TMD:

  • Pain or tenderness of the jaw, jaw joint area, neck, shoulders, and in or around the ear
  • Difficulty in opening the mouth wide
  • Locked jaw
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth, which may or may not be painful
  • Swelling on the side of the face
  • Sudden discomfort when biting or trouble chewing

When should you seek professional help?

If the pain or tenderness in the jaw is persistent or if you are having difficulty in opening or closing your mouth, then seeking medical attention is highly advised. Medical professionals, such as dentists, doctors, or TMJ specialists, can discuss the possible causes and treatments appropriate for the problem.

Here at Crown Dental Care, we offer a TMJ disorder treatment in the form of an oral appliance called a bite guard or bite plate. This oral appliance is worn over the teeth to help reduce the symptoms of TMJ disorder.

If you’re suffering from a disorder that causes excruciating pain that can get in the way of using the jaw properly, do not wait any longer, seek professional assistance! Book your appointment immediately at Crown Dental Care for TMJ Treatment in Germantown, MD!

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