You may have heard friends or family talk about TMJ, and you know it has to do with your jaw joint but aren't sure exactly why it can become a problem for so many.
First, it helps to understand how this joint works. The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) gets its name because it connects the temporal bone at the side of the head to your lower jaw, or mandible. This joint is one of the most complicated in the body because it not only moves up and down, it also allows you to shift your mouth from side to side.
When something goes wrong with your TMJ, we refer to it as a temporomandibular disorder or TMD. The symptoms of TMD can range from discomfort to debilitating pain, but many people may not realize that a problem they're having is related to their TMJ.
Common Symptoms of TMD
In addition to discomfort, TMD can lead to teeth grinding (bruxism) and excessive wearing of teeth that may require complex restorative treatment to address. Identifying the problem early can help avoid this, but you need to know what to look for first.
- Teeth grinding (bruxism) is a common sign of TMD that typically occurs because you don't bite down evenly on both sides your of your mouth. Chronic grinding and clenching results in excessive wear that may require complex restorative treatment to address.
- Clicking or popping sounds occur when you open and close your mouth that because of displacement of the disc that cushions the joint.
- Pain in your jaw, neck, or shoulders can occur because your TMJ is overworked and causes pain to radiate.
TMJ Treatment in Metairie
Fortunately, the doctors at Oak Family Dental offer a simple solution to minimize the symptoms of TMD. Many patients have found relief with a simple oral device that is worn during sleep and prevents the TMJ from becoming overworked and sore.
Please call our office, and we will be happy to arrange an evaluation with one of our doctors.