Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, most often called TMJ, is an issue that occurs in the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull. This joint acts as a hinge for opening and closing the mouth and is critical to the correct function of the mouth for activities like eating and speaking.
While it is not exactly known what causes TMJ, we know that hard hits to the jaw, teeth grinding and clenching, and arthritis in the temporomandibular joint can all contribute to its formation.
The symptoms associated with TMJ include:
- Pain in the joint and difficulty chewing
- Headache, neck, and shoulder pain
- Bulky or muscular appearance in the joint area
- Tightness and stiffness make the jaw harder to open and close
- Clicking sound in the joint when yawning
How Can A Dentist Help with TMJ?
Your local Fort Collins, CO dentist, can help! A Dentist can diagnose a patient with TMJ and provide several options for treatment.
If your TMJ is caused by clenching or grinding, your dentist may recommend a dental appliance to help protect your teeth and jaw while you sleep.
The dentist may also prescribe anti-inflammatories or pain killers to help combat the TMJ. In some rare cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve a patient's TMJ symptoms.
Expert Dental Care
If you are experiencing TMJ symptoms, contact Centre Family Dentistry today to schedule an exam.