TMJ disorders

TMJ disorders

The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the bone of the skull. Located on either side of the face, just in front of the ears, the TMJ enables us to eat, speak and even breathe. If you feel pain or hear “popping” or “cracking” noises when you open or close your mouth, you may be suffering from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

The causes of TMJ disorders are often multifactorial. Teeth grinding, stress and trauma are among the factors that can lead to this disorder. Apart from the noises that can be heard when the mouth is opened, a person with TMJ pathology may also experience symptoms such as jaw pain, sensations of muscle tension, headaches and difficulty in opening the mouth (the jaw being locked in open position).

Treatment for TMJ disorders varies according to the underlying cause, but your dentist may suggest wearing an occlusal plate at night to relax the jaw muscles. Medication may also be prescribed for pain, and in rare cases, surgery may be required.

Don’t hesitate to contact your dentist if you notice any of these symptoms. They will be able to identify possible causes and recommend appropriate treatment.

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