What is TMJ and What are the Symptoms
What is TMJ?
TMJ or the Temporo-Mandibular Joint is what connects the bone that forms the side of the skull with the lower jaw. When someone asks what is TMJ and what are the symptoms, they are referring to the pain that often comes with TMJ.
What are the reasons for TMJ?
TMJ usually appears when there has been damage to the cartilage disk. For instance, if you open and close your mouth and you hear a popping sound, or you find that chewing is really painful and a bit tiring, that is most likely a sign that you have some form of TMJ or damage to the disk.
What causes damage to the Disk?
When questioning what is TMJ and what are the symptoms it is important to look at what causes the damage that eventually leads to TMJ. The most common reason for TMJ is some type of damage to the jaw. This could be an accident when you were young, or something as different as major treatment from an unknowing orthodontist back in the day. Other causes are grinding ones teeth, chewing too much gum, stress, and arthritis.
What are the symptoms of TMJ?
One of the biggest symptoms of TMJ is earaches. Your ear is connected to the same muscle as your jaw and seems to take a lot of the leftover pain. The next really common thing you might experience is headaches. It is not uncommon for those who suffer with migraines to be diagnosed with TMJ. Other symptoms include clicking of jaw, painful jaw, pain when eating, pain in the jaw and cheek, and tooth pain.
How is TMJ treated?
Only a doctor/dentist can identify if you have TMJ. If you do you will be asked to rest the muscles of your mouth. You will be told not to chew gum, eat soft foods, try to avoid clenching or tensing your mouth, and relax jaw muscles with heat. A doctor/dentist might also prescribe non-inflammatory or muscle-relaxing drugs.
What is my next step?
If you suspect that you have TMJ you should seek the knowledge and advice of a professional. Make sure you ask all of the questions you have. Be clear about asking what is TMJ and what are the symptoms so that you are confident you clearly understand. Do not try to self treat. You need to make sure you are stopping the damage to your mouth not making it worse.Take care of your teeth. If you don't have a dentist or dental plan, find one online.
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