Do you experience jaw pain, locking, or popping? If so, you may be experiencing symptoms of a TMJ disorder. But what is TMJ, and why does it happen? Read on for all of the information you’ll need about how to diagnose, treat, and prevent TMJ.
What is TMJ?
The acronym TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that connects your jawbone to the rest of your skull. You may not think about it very much, but your TMJ is majorly important. It’s the joint that allows you to talk, chew, and use your jaw’s full range of motion. When it’s working properly, all is well, but if you’re suffering from TMJ Disorder, you’re bound to notice.
What are the symptoms?
When something is wrong with your TMJ, you’re most likely to notice pain and stiffness in your mouth and jaw area. This pain is likely to feel like a dull ache, and may also be accompanied by difficulty moving your jaw. If you can’t open your mouth all the way, or attempts to do so result in further pain, popping, or locking of the jaw, you’re most likely suffering from a TMJ disorder.
How do I treat it?
Often times, tension in the jaw is best treated the way you would treat tension anywhere else on your body. Gentle stretching, aspirin, muscle relaxers, or alternating ice and hot compresses can all ease symptoms of TMJ disorders. If pain and limited mobility persist, contact us, and your dentist will help you prevent TMJ from progressing further.