TMJ Syndrome is a disorder of the nerves and jaw muscles that comprise the temporomandibular joint, which is the sliding hinge connecting the jawbone to the skull. The flexible jaw joints allow the jaw to move side to side and up and down, which enables people to yawn, talk, and chew. Muscles attached to the jaw joints control the movement and position of the jaw. Temporomandibular joint disorders can cause intense pain in the muscles and jaw joints.
Although the exact cause of a person’s TMJ disorder may be difficult to determine, most orthodontists believe that symptoms may be due to a combination of problems, including jaw injury, arthritis, teeth grinding, misalignment of the teeth or jaw, stress, excessive gum chewing, and other inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders.
Symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder may include:
• Severe pain or tenderness of the jaw
• Popping or clicking of the jaw
• Aching pain around the ear
• Facial pain
• Locking of the jaw, especially after yawning
• Difficulty chewing
People who find it difficult to open or close their jaw completely or experience persistent tenderness or pain in the jaw should seek medical attention. Stoner Periodontic Specialists can help diagnose the problem and discuss treatment options. In many cases, TMJ can be treated with self therapy and exercises. In extreme cases, however, surgery may be a necessary option. If you believe you are suffering from TMJ syndrome, or have been officially diagnosed, please contact our Columbus, Ohio office to discuss treatment.