November 29, 2016

The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is located on either side of the face and is responsible for jaw movements, including opening and closing the mouth. It is a frequently used joint that can easily become strained and damaged.

Because the temporomandibular joint is under constant pressure, problems can develop (especially in those who tend to clench or grind their teeth). TMJ disorder is a term commonly used to describe a wide variety of issues that affect the temporomandibular joint and the surrounding muscles and nerves. Common causes of TMJ disorder include trauma to the temporomandibular joint (or the neck, head and face), hormonal imbalances, stress, malocclusion and arthritis.

How to Recognize TMJ Problems

Initially, TMJ symptoms may be very mild and difficult to recognize because they mimic other problems. Early symptoms may include things like mild discomfort in the jaw or frequent headaches. Over time and without treatment, these symptoms can progress and become more uncomfortable. In severe cases of TMJ disorder, it is not unusual to experience “lock jaw”, during which the jaw becomes uncomfortably stuck in one position.

If you have a family history of TMJ disorder or if you think you may be developing it, here are some common symptoms to watch for:

  • Frequent popping, cracking or grinding noises when the jaw is opened or closed
  • Discomfort in and around the jaw joint
  • Frequent headaches
  • Tinnitus
  • Chronic muscle pain in the neck, head and face
  • Frequent grinding or clenching of the teeth

Ideally, you should seek treatment at the first indication of a problem with your TMJ joint. Dr. Matthew Wolfe is highly experienced in diagnosing and treating TMJ issues and can help you understand the underlying cause of your symptoms while recommending the most effective treatment options.

Schedule Your Appointment

If you’re experiencing any discomfort in your jaw joint, scheduling a TMJ consultation is a quick and easy process that could help decrease your pain. To schedule your appointment, call Signature Dentistry of Rochester during regular business hours.



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