Question: My jaw frequently hurts and someone recently asked me if I have TMJ. What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)?
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ, can be very painful and affect your life negatively if you don’t get the condition under control. TMJ is used to refer to a group of conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint, which is a joint located between the ears and the jaw.
TMJ affects about twice as many women than men, and women often develop TMJ during childbearing years. Sufferers of TMJ often grind or clench their teeth, most often subconsciously at night. It’s thought that people who undergo great amounts of stress are more likely to develop TMJ, as stress is often associated with teeth grinding and clenching. A severe jaw injury may also cause the condition.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder is usually not chronic, however it can lead to some serious issues like sensitive, worn-down teeth. TMJ also has symptoms like headaches, neck aches, irritability, sore jaw and ear aches.
If you have frequent pain between your jaw and your ear, you should contact your dentist or doctor. Treatment for TMJ can be as simple as practicing relaxation techniques or taking ibuprofen. More sever cases may involve a dentist fitting you with a custom mouthguard to stop teeth grinding and clenching at night.
For questions about Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, contact the professionals at DentaLux today!