TMJ is an easy acronym for "Temporo-Mandibular joint" and refers to the joint that hinges the mandible (lower jaw) to the temporal bone of the skull in the front of the ear on each side of the head. We use this joint every time we talk, chew, or even swallow. When this joint becomes displaced or when the muscles or ligaments surrounding the joint become stretched or damaged, simple movements can become painful.
What are the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction?
Things we take for granted like talking, chewing, or yawning can be adversely affected by the malfunctioning of the TM joint. Symptoms include headaches, earaches, pain behind the ears or eyes, popping or grating sounds in the joint area, difficulty chewing or swallowing, nasal problems and difficulty opening or closing one's mouth. Problems with the TM joint can cause muscle spasm in surrounding muscle, resulting in pain in various areas of the head and neck, the lower jaw and the teeth. The severity and intensity of the pain varies widely from patient to patient. Because the symptoms are often felt in other parts of the head and neck, many patients mistakenly assume that they are suffering from ear infections, dental problems or other disorders. Even though it is the true source of the pain, TMJ may go untreated for long periods. However, the best results in healing are achieved when there has been an early diagnosis and treatment. If you think you may be suffering from TMJ related problems, please contact our office to set up an appointment or consultation.