Temporomandibular joint disorders (also referred to as TMJ or TMD) have similar symptoms as tooth decay, sinus issues, gum decay, and arthritis. To determine what is causing your jaw pain, arrange an appointment with Drs of Smiles immediately. Let’s address TMJ and what it means for you.
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint connects the skull to the jaw. It allows your jaw to move up, down, and side to side so you can laugh, talk, and eat food. TMJ may be due to problems that develop in the muscles of the jaw or the joint. If you experience injury to the head, neck or jaw, like a whiplash—you may get TMJ. Stress, arthritis to the joint, grinding, or clenching the teeth can also create TMJ.
If you feel light to intense pain or tenderness around your jaw, neck, shoulders, or face, as well as your ear when you chew or speak, you could have TMJ. If you have difficulty opening your mouth wide or feel like your jaw “locks” when in an open position, this could be a sign of TMJ. If you feel swelling on the side of your face, have problems chewing and eating food, feel or hear a clicking and popping noise as you move your mouth, these are also signs of TMJ.
Arrange an exam
If you exhibit any of the symptoms associated with TMJ, don’t hesitate to arrange your exam today. During an exam, the dentist will analyze your jaw movement and check for pain or tenderness. The doctor will also test to see if your jaw locks, and moves appropriately. Your biting and chewing will also be analyzed to assess whether or not you have problems with your facial muscles. As part of your consultation, X-rays may be required and in some cases an MRI.
If you are suffering from jaw, mouth, or facial muscle pain, call Drs of Smiles right away to schedule your consultation to see if you have TMJ. You can reach our office by calling 480.834.699. We look forward to helping you live without pain!