TMJ and TMD are used interchangeably among dentists because they represent the same thing: temporomandibular joint dysfunction. TMD refers to the actual diagnosis of the jaw pain, while TMJ is the abbreviation of the actual temporomandibular joint.
Patients diagnosed with TMJ or TMD experience pain and compromised movement of the jaw joint and its surrounding muscles.
TMJ Disorder Symptoms
Patients feeling any of the following symptoms may be experiencing the beginnings of TMJ and should come see their dentist for a diagnosis:
- Pain in face, ear, jaw, or mouth
- Difficulty chewing
- Clicking and locking of the jaw joint
- Headaches or muscles spasms
TMJ is most commonly caused by overuse of the jaw. Things like chewing gum excessively or grinding your teeth will aggravate the temporomandibular joint and could eventually lead to TMJ. Other causes include:
- Injury to the jaw or teeth
- Misalignment of the teeth or jaw
- Poor posture
For some of the causes listed above, self-care will help remove the stress and strain on the jaw joint. For others, you’ll need to see a dentist. At Priority Dental, we use bite guard therapy to help patients with TMJ symptoms. Patients will receive a mouth guard to wear at night or during the day to prevent jaw friction from grinding teeth. Often teeth grinding is a subconscious habit or something that happens at night as you sleep.
Our mouthguards are made of rigid acrylic material created to raise the bite and reposition the jaw in a position that relieves you of any pain or discomfort.
We want to free you of any jaw pain you might be experiencing. If you have experienced or are currently feeling any of the TMJ symptoms we’ve mentioned above, call us to make an appointment today!