Have you noticed pain in your jaw and more headaches than usual lately? You may have TMJ.
What is TMJ?
“TMJ” stands for the temporomandibular joint, the joint that connects your jawbone and skull. It is a joint that is used constantly, and it can cause a lot of pain when the joint is injured or damaged. “TMJ” is also the commonly used term for disorders in this joint.
Symptoms of TMJ include tenderness in the jaw, neck, and shoulders; pain in the jaw when chewing; pain or a feeling of stuffiness in and around the ear; a popping or clicking sound when you open or close your mouth; and feeling like your top and bottom teeth aren’t fitting together correctly when you close your mouth.
What causes TMJ?
TMJ can be caused by teeth grinding, cartilage damage, or an injury to the jaw. It can also be an inherited condition or caused by arthritis or a connective tissue disease.
What can be done about TMJ?
Some people with TMJ find relief with things they do at home: using over-the-counter pain relief, reducing stress, putting ice or heat on the joint when it is especially painful, and avoiding chewy foods such as bagels and chewing gum. However, for long-term relief, you might consider dental work.
If you are missing teeth, your top and bottom teeth eventually won’t align as they should. This adds stress to your facial and jaw muscles and makes TMJ symptoms worse. Among the many options your dentist has to help you, he or she may suggest dental implants. An implant includes a post inserted under the gums and a crown (or “replacement tooth”) attached to the post. Replacing a missing tooth will make you feel and look better, and it will also help you to enjoy your favorite foods like you used to – but it will also help your TMJ by realigning your bite and reducing stress on your jaw muscles.
TMJ can be very painful, but the staff at Lerner & Lemongello can help. Their office is located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida – call (561) 627-9000 today to make an appointment!