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Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) is a disorder that affects the muscles of the jaw.

This disorder is characterized by pain where the jawbone and the skull meet, the temporomandibular joint. This joint is located on either side of the head and just in front of the ears.  TMJ causes pain and discomfort associated with jaw movements such as chewing, yawning and talking.

TMJ symptoms include an aching pain in the jaw, face, and around the ear; a clicking or popping sensation when the jaw is opened or closed; and difficulty and discomfort when chewing.

If left untreated TMJ can also cause headaches, an uneven bite, and in some extreme cases, the joint itself will lock, thus rendering a person unable to open or close their mouth.

There are many factors that will lead to TMJ, including arthritis, a facial injury, or teeth grinding, which overworks the muscles of the jaw. Women between the ages of 30 and 50 have the highest risk for developing TMJ, but individuals with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and various sleep disorders are also at a high risk.

TMJ is very common, but symptoms for most people are mild and easily resolved with help from a dentist. In many cases of TMJ a change of behavior is all that is needed to resolve the problem. For those who suffer from TMJ, a dentist may prescribe an overnight bite guard to prevent patients from grinding their teeth while sleeping.

There are many treatments for TMJ that don’t require a medical professional. Some of the at-home methods to relieve pain include finding ways to use the jaw muscles less, such as eating softer foods or cutting foods into smaller portions.

People who suffer from TMJ are also advised to avoid chewing gum and to not open the mouth too wide when chewing. If you suffer from any of these symptoms we would be happy to help at Creative Smiles.

Please contact sara@creativesmiles.co.uk or alternatively you can call one of our Creatve Smiles Team on 02890 618545