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TMJ

Grinding Advanced Care

TMJ (Temporal Mandibular Joint), TMD (Temporal Mandibular Disease), or Oral Facial Pain Syndrome are often related to bruxism (grinding, clenching, or trauma). Many patients recognize common symptoms such as worn down teeth or ear pain. Our specialists are able to diagnose and treat - without surgery - many diseases of the temporal mandibular joint.

 

What is TMJ?

 

TMJ and TMD are abbreviations for the anatomical structure called the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint connecting your lower jaw (the mandible) and your skull.

 

The movement in this joint lets you open and close your mouth and chew from side to side. When the joint on one or both sides of your face is displaced or isn't functioning properly, a series of problems generally occur.

Symptoms

TMJ presents problems ranging from mild discomfort, such as popping and clicking of the jaw, to debilitating pain such as headaches, migraine headaches, ear, neck and back pain.

 

It is usually, but not always, associated with grinding and clenching your teeth.

Evaluation

 

The exam consists of a series of questions followed by palpation of the joint and the muscles controlling the joint.

 

The questions aim to determine whether you are overusing your jaw, the presence, and extent of joint or muscle pain. Some of the diagnosing questions include:

 

  • Is there pain upon chewing, yawning, or wide mouth opening?

 

  • Is it difficult to opening your mouth?

 

  • Are there frequent headaches? If so, when do they occur?

 

  • Are there noises coming from your jaw joints?

 

A TMJ evaluation is recommended for all patients, especially ones who describe one or more of the TMD symptoms.  

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