TMJ Disorder

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is another common type of jaw-related pain. TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, which describes the two joints near the front of your ears where the upper and lower jaws connect. Damage occurs to the TMJ when the disc in the joint, the cushioning cartilage, slips out of position. You may not be able to open your mouth very wide without pain or clicking noises.

Usually, this is the result of clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth over a long time, usually at night. Direct damage to the joint can also be caused by certain injuries or arthritis. TMJ dysfunction or TMJ disorders such as this can cause facial pain, headaches, dizziness, and neck and back pain.

You may be at risk of a TMJ disorder if you:

  • Find yourself waking up with sore/stiff muscles around your jaw
  • Have frequent headaches or neck/backaches
  • Clench your jaw often due to stress
  • Find it difficult to open your mouth wide to eat or yawn
  • Suffer from arthritis
  • Have sensitive or broken teeth

TMJ disorders are also associated with disturbed sleep patterns and difficulty breathing at night or obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Treatment for TMJ disorders will vary greatly, depending on your level of discomfort and the root cause. It is best to consult your National Dental Care dentist, who will examine you and suggest the best form of treatment for you.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding with a surgical or invasive procedure, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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