TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area on the skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in its where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension.
Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is a complex joint system in the body, anchoring the lower jawbone to the skull and allowing the lower jaw to slide and rotate; the cause of this condition is difficult to determine, but the following symptoms may help to diagnose it:
- Clicking Jaw
- Pain in the Face
- Ear pain
- Tired or Stiff Facial Muscles
- Shoulder and Neck Pain
- Trouble/Soreness in Opening and Closing the Mouth
Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc.
There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.
Contact your dentist in Brick NJ to learn more about this treatment by calling our office at (732) 477-7272.