What is TMJ Disorder?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the rest of the head. The term TMJ is often used to refer to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD), or, more generally, temporomandibular disorders (TMD), however, TMJ is actually the name of the joint itself. TMJ disorder is what occurs when the TMJ becomes stressed, injured or misaligned. TMJ disorder may result due to several different factors, such as stress, bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching), arthritis in the joint, or trauma and injury to the head, neck or jaw.
What are the Signs of TMJD?
You may suffer from TMJD, or TMD, if you experience frequent jaw or facial pain. TMJD may also cause:
- Grinding, clicking or popping sounds in the jaw when you open and close your mouth
- Inability to open your mouth wide to speak, yawn or chew
- A locked or stuck jaw
- Pain when chewing and biting
- Pain in the neck, shoulders or ears
- Frequent headaches
How is TMJD Treated?
Dr. Scheer can help you determine the cause of your TMJ disorder and recommend the appropriate treatment. The specific treatment will depend on the cause and severity of your TMJ disorder. TMD treatment may include jaw and facial relaxation exercises, lifestyle changes, restorative dental treatments, a mouthguard or nightguard, or, in extreme and rare cases, jaw surgery. Dr. Scheer always encourages patients to try less invasive, non-permanent treatment options first. To learn more about your options for TMJD treatment in Thornton, schedule your consultation with our orthodontist, Dr. Scheer, today.