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What is TMJ Dysfunction?
TMJ Dysfunction (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction), also known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) relates to the dysfunction of the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull: the temporomandibular. This joint is responsible for opening and closing your mouth, and chewing. So when it starts acting up, it can have a big impact on your life.
What are the Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction?
The main symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include:
- Jaw pain
- Restricted mouth movement
- Clicking noises from your jaw.
Each of the symptoms can make daily routines like eating difficult – and sometimes quite painful. While TMJ dysfunction can cause jaw discomfort and pains, it can also lead to headaches and ear pains.
Causes of TMJ Dysfunction
While there isn’t a conclusive consensus on the cause of TMJ dysfunction, there are known factors that can cause the disorder to worsen. High levels of emotional stress may increase jaw activity (e.g. teeth clenching and grinding). This can be very painful for someone with the disorder, increasing the effect of the symptoms.
Do you have TMJ dysfunction?
If you’re finding it painful to eat, hearing abnormal clicking noises coming from jaw when you open it, or feel that your temporomandibular is firm, then you may have TMJ dysfunction. Your first step should be to get it looked at by a professional who has the right equipment to determine a diagnosis.
Experiencing the symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction? Let our dentists know and we can help diagnose it.
How do you treat TMJ dysfunction?
Currently there’s no clear treatment for TMJ dysfunction, as surgical and dental interventions lack evidence of helping. But there are ways to manage the disorder. Medication like pain killers can help combat the pain, and physiotherapy can be used to increase the range of lower jaw movement. You can also reduce the effect by eating softer foods and lowering your stress levels.
Muscle relaxant injections can also be an effective option for relieving TMJ dysfunction symptoms in some patients. The injections are placed into the jaw to relax the muscle, often resulting in reduced jaw tension and headaches due to teeth grinding. You can find out more about our injectable treatments and book a complimentary cosmetic dentistry consultation with our dentists by contacting one of our studios: