As is the case with many oral health problems, the sooner that TMJ problems are identified and treated, the better the patient’s long-term oral health prognosis. Our Elmhurst TMJ dentists are here to help you learn about signs and symptoms of TMJ problems. Keep reading to get more information.
To quickly review: when we talk about your “TMJ” we are talking about your temporomandibular joint. Temporomandibular joints connect your lower jaw to your skull; when you chew, yawn, and speak, you are using your temporomandibular joint!
When a TMJ is healthy, the lower jaw is able to move comfortably and smoothly. However, sometimes a TMJ becomes damaged due to injury, misaligned bite, or bruxism (chronic dental grinding). When this happens, you may notice…
· That your jaw joint makes a clicking or popping noise when you chew or speak
· That you’re grinding your teeth during the day, or you’re waking up with headaches or jaw soreness (this can be indicative of nighttime dental grinding)
· That you suffer from neck, jaw, or ear pain
· That it becomes difficult for you to open your mouth all of the way—it may feel like your jaw “locks” when you try to open it
· That your lower jaw pops out of place
· That your bite alignment begins to change
TMJ issues can become more severe and painful over time. If you think that you may be suffering from TMJ dysfunction, it is imperative that you talk to your dentist about possible treatment options. With effective care—which may include improving your bite alignment, wearing a protective mouth guard, or treating bruxism—you can improve TMJ function and minimize pain and discomfort.
As always our Elmhurst TMJ dentists are happy to give you any additional information that you may need. Give our team a call to speak with us and to schedule your personal TMJ consultation.