The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), more commonly referred to as the “jaw joint, assists in the opening, closing, and functional movement of the jaw. It is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. Occlusion refers to how your teeth come together, i.e. your bite. Problems with improper teeth contact can result in issues ranging from clenching and grinding teeth to changes in your bite or how your teeth fit together.
If you have had symptoms like pain or a “clicking” sound, when you eat or speak, these problems can be diagnosed and treated to help you have a healthier and more comfortable jaw. These symptoms occur when the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles do not work together correctly.
Other symptoms to be aware of include:
- Pain in the jaw area
- Ear pain/stuffiness
- Frequent headaches or neck aches
- Face swelling
- Muscle spasms
- A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
- Locked jaw or a limited opening of the mouth problem persists
You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint. You may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Injuries and arthritis can damage the joint directly or stretch or tear the muscle ligaments. As a result, the disk, which is made of cartilage and functions as the “cushion” of the jaw joint, can slip out of position. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking, or grating noise when you open your mouth or trouble opening your mouth wide.
Our doctors will use advanced diagnostic tools to determine the cause and the best way to alleviate the pain in order to get you functioning properly again. We do not want this TMD issue to keeping you from enjoying your daily life and living a life of continuous jaw pain.