carmona-tmjYesterday, we discussed bruxism, a disorder that causes patient to regularly grind and clench their teeth. There is another jaw joint disorder that is often related, known as TMJ disorder, or TMD. Caused when the jaw joints become strained, TMJ can lead to a number of uncomfortable symptoms. Do you have TMJ disorder? How do you recognize the potential warning signs?

Try Our TMJ Disorder Quiz

  1. True or False: Misalignment can lead to TMD.
  2. True or False: A popping or clicking in the jaw can be a warning sign.
  3. True or False: You can take steps to ease symptoms.
  4. True or False: We can treat the problem with a custom-made oral splint.

Answer Key

  1. True. An uneven smile can place pressure on the temporomandibular joints, which control the movement needed to eat and speak. Other causes of jaw joint strain include tooth loss, injury to the face or jaw, and bruxism (teeth grinding). We will assess the factors behind your TMD before we recommend treatment.
  2. True. Aside from a popping or clicking sensation in the jaw, symptoms may include a persistent headache, jaw pain, earaches, and discomfort in the neck or shoulders. Patients who grind their teeth or clench their jaws may also experience tooth sensitivity or toothaches.
  3. True. First, apply a warm compress against the side of the face to ease the tension in the joints. You can also cut back on caffeine or consuming hard/chewy foods. The repetitive chewing motion needed to consume them can actually worsen symptoms.
  4. True. An oral appliance can reposition the jaw joints to ease strain and reduce the severity if symptoms. The oral appliance looks similar to a nightguard and is worn while you sleep. We also recommend them to help address bruxism as well.
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