Temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly known as TMJ, is a painful condition of the jaw that can cause dysfunction in your muscles, nerves, ligaments, bones, connective tissue and teeth. TMJ is often characterized by teeth grinding, sensitive teeth, loose teeth, limited mouth opening, and can also produce painful, debilitating headaches that radiate from the temple, ear, and jaw.
Proper diagnosis is the key to TMJ treatment options. Some patients can do well with the simplest level of care (i.e., a bite splint, orthotic device or night-guard). These appliances can reposition the jaw in a more comfortable position and relieve pain and stress on the jaw joint. Other patients may require more serious, long-term treatments to get the jaw and the bite back in harmony. In each case, treatment options need to be specific to the individual needs of the patient.
Better sleep, less pain, and better function along with healthier gums and longer lasting teeth are the result of correct diagnosis and treatment of this disorder.
Possible signs of TMJ include:
- Frequent headaches or migraine headaches
- Worn down teeth
- Popping or clicking in the jaw
- Pain behind the eyes
- Sensitive teeth
- Bleeding gums
- Ear-aches or ringing in the ears
- Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- Muscle stiffness in the jaw, neck and shoulder