August 17, 2017

Do you have unexplained jaw pain, headaches or earaches? They could be symptoms of TMJ. The temporomandibular joints are found at the connection, or joints, of your jaws and skull. TMJ syndrome typically involves the muscle, ligaments, bone and discs of those joints. Injury, misalignment, teeth grinding, arthritis, and stress can all cause TMJ. Dr. William Walden is an experienced dentist in Chandler, AZ at Walden Dentistry who can diagnose this syndrome and help you resolve it.

Causes and Symptoms

Bruxism is a disorder that causes you to constantly clench your jaws during wakeful hours or grind your teeth while you sleep. Stress causes these same reactions, with the same results: TMJ pain. Teeth grinding can also severely damage your teeth, wearing them down and even breaking or fracturing individual teeth.

There are several symptoms of TMJ to watch for, including:

  • Pain in your face, neck or shoulder when you talk, chew or yawn.
  • Locking jaws or unable to easily open and widen your mouth.
  • Clicking or popping sounds when you open or close your mouth.
  • Trouble chewing or pain when biting.
  • Swelling on the one or both sides of your face.
  • Experiencing chronic neck aches, earaches, toothaches or headaches.
  • Experiencing dizziness or hearing loss.

Treating TMJ

Because stress and TMJ cause similar reactions, they can also be treated in the same manner. For grinding that occurs while you sleep, a mouth guard may be an appropriate measure, and your dentist will fit you for one. For jaw clenching during waking hours, your dentist may suggest yoga to help calm anxiety and soothe stress. He may also show you some jaw exercises you can perform to loosen tightened muscles and ease jaw pressure.

Once you have learned to ease or prevent your symptoms, Dr. Walden will work with you to develop a treatment plan to repair any tooth damage, if needed. For more information about TMJ and how to treat it, contact our office today.



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