If you suffer from frequent headaches, stiff neck, painful jaw movement, or you hear a clicking sound when you open and close your mouth, you may have a condition known as TMJ. Our mouths, teeth, and jaws work hard every day – from speaking to eating, to even helping us breathe – the wear and tear on these muscles and bones can start impacting our health. The joint that connects the jaw to the skull is called the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ). When this joint gets irritated or injured, it can cause a lot of pain.
November is TMJ Awareness Month, and at Colorado Dental Group, we are passionate about making sure our patients are comfortable with their teeth, mouths, and jaw. Here are some TMJ facts that should help you know whether or not you have the disorder and when to seek help.
20 TMJ Facts
- TMJ stands for “temporo-mandibular joint.”
- Your TMJ connects your jawbone to your cheekbone, just in front of your ears.
- TMJ disorders (TMJD) cause chronic jaw pain.
- An estimated 36 million Americans suffer from TMJD.
- Women are twice as likely as men to develop TMJD.
- TMJ disorders are complicated and often occur along with related conditions.
- Over 30 different health conditions can coexist with TMJD.
- Dental conditions like a misaligned bite or teeth grinding can cause TMJD.
- Arthritis often complicates TMJD.
- Stress is also related to TMJ disorders.
- TMJD symptoms may come and go.
- Symptoms of TMJ disorders include: popping or clicking sensations, headaches, jaw pain, face or neck pain, dizziness, ringing in the ears, stiff or locked jaw, difficulty chewing or opening your mouth
- Heat therapy can help with dull, aching pains.
- Cold therapy can relieve sharp, shooting pain.
- Eating small bites and soft foods will help relieve jaw tension from chewing.
- Self-massage can help as well.
- Dentists are usually the ones who diagnose TMJD.
- Aligning your bite with orthodontics like braces or Invisalign can help relieve TMJ pain.
- Wearing a mouthguard at night can treat bruxism as well as TMJD.
- If you have severe or chronic jaw pain, you should see a dentist.
Suffering from TMJ in Colorado Springs
You don’t have to continue suffering from jaw pain and limited range of motion in the jaw. Our team of dental experts can help you find relief from TMJ symptoms today! The most important thing you can do is schedule an appointment at Colorado Dental Group, because your jaw pain may be a result of another disease or condition – like periodontitis or even a dental infection. Let us care for your dental health today.