TMJ Disorder 101

jawpainblueHas a dentist ever asked you if you have problems with your TMJs? Did you freeze, unsure how to answer because you’re not even sure what a TMJ is? If so, we think it is high time you learn all about TMJ disorder. This is something we look for during your dental checkups because the sooner we detect this disorder with your jaw joints, the easier it is to offer quick relief while providing effective prevention against long-term side effects. Allow us to educate you with the essentials, so you can keep your jaw health in excellent condition.

What Is A TMJ?

Your TMJ is your jaw joint – you have one located on either side of your head. Short for “temporomandibular joint,” your TMJs let you open and close your mouth and shift your jaw from one side to the other. Without TMJs, you would have no range of motion for chewing and eating.

What IS TMJ Disorder?

Due to a variety of underlying causes, such as damage to your TMJ, stress and strain, misalignment, bite balance issues, and more, you may develop TMJ disorder. This generally refers to the poor functioning of your jaw joints, which may include the following symptoms:

  • Your jaw may make a clicking sound, often while you chew
  • You may find that your jaw becomes “locked” for a moment while opening or closing your mouth
  • You might experience discomfort and tenderness around your TMJs
  • Discomfort may extend into your neck, shoulders, and even your back
  • Daily headaches are common