TMJ Can be a Pain—But We Can Help
TMJ is short for temporomandibular joints. These are the hinges that connect your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are positioned in front of your ears. Put simply, these joints allow jaw movement so you can do things like eat, speak and yawn. However, pain can result if the joints are not functioning smoothly.
Diagnosing the Problem
Patients are frequently referred to us by local ENTs because ear pain is often related to TMJ issues. To determine the cause of any pain you might be having, and whether it can be attributed to TMJ, we will check your jaw joints for discomfort or tenderness and find out if the joints are working properly. We’ll listen for popping or grating sounds when you move your jaw, test your bite and see if you are having any issues with your facial muscles.
TMJ issues are not the same for everyone, but they can often be treated conservatively. Once a diagnosis is made, your dentist will help to resolve the problems you’re experiencing by tailoring a solution to your particular condition. Recommendations might include eating soft foods, applying ice packs to sore areas, moderate jaw exercises and medications such as ibuprofen to relieve pain and swelling.
TMJ has become the commonly used term for a bite disorder. The symptoms of TMJ include facial pain, popping of the jaw, headaches or migraines, earaches, teeth grinding and issues with jaw mobility. You might find that you have trouble chewing, or feel that your upper and lower teeth are not coming together as they should. You could even feel tenderness around your neck and shoulders, or around your ear when you eat or open your mouth wide.