Signs that your Jaw is in Distress
- Posted on: Jul 15 2017
More people are becoming familiar with the term “TMJ disorder.” However, recognizing that this is an oral condition is just the tip of the iceberg. Many people are affected by some degree of dysfunction in the jaw, and yet they do not recognize the warning signs of distress. Would you know if your temporomandibular joints, and the structures that surround them, stopped working efficiently? Let’s find out!
What is TMJ disorder?
TMJ disorder describes a malfunction in the oral structure. At the back of the jaw, there are two joints, one on each side. These joints, the TMJs, enable the lower mandible to move from side to side and up and down. It isn’t only the joints that are involved in these movements; a matrix of ligaments, nerves, and muscles are also set into motion when we want to chew or speak. This network is relatively complex, making it susceptible to disruption. That disruption could be clenching or grinding the teeth. It could be a bad bite. Whatever it is, it may cause more than a few unpleasant symptoms.
Could you have TMJ disorder?
The symptoms that are most often attributed to TMJ disorder are popping and clicking when the mouth is opened and closed. A “noisy jaw” is only one indicator of an underlying problem, and it may not be the first to become obvious. Other symptoms include:
- Jaw stiffness, sometimes to the point of locking in one position (lockjaw).
- Jaw soreness or tenderness to the touch.
- Facial swelling around the joints near the ears.
- Ringing in the ears or ear pain without infection.
- Chronic head pain, including migraines.
- Tooth pain or sensitivity.
Treating TMJ Disorder
Some instances of TMJ disorder may resolve on their own. This is usually when pain and stiffness are related to overuse or bruxism. A thorough exam is necessary to determine the extent of dysfunction and how to treat it. Dr. Frey conducts a thorough analysis of TMJ function using the principles of neuromuscular dentistry. These principles also guide a course of treatment that is tailored to the individual.
Learn more about TMJ disorder and how comfort can be restored with gentle, effective treatment. Call our Beverly Hills office at 310-276-4537.