A Primer for TMJ Disorder

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TMJ is short for Temporormandibular joint disorder. This is an issue with the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull and may be caused or aggravated by excessive clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth. Gone undiagnosed, the disorder causes pain in the joint of the jaw and soreness in the muscles that control jaw movement.

It is difficult to know exactly which specific factors cause TMJ because there are a variety of triggers, such as arthritis, injury to the jaw, and even a genetic predisposition. One typical component is that those with TMJ tend to clench or grind their teeth. In some cases, the patient doesn’t recognize they are doing it and will only become aware after being interrogated by their dentist. A dentist may come to the conclusion that patient’s the teeth are worn or wearing away the enamel at a higher rate than normal, which may clue him in. There may even be cracks or chips in teeth that are signs of the disorder. To understand what to look for we have made the following list.

TMJ: What to Watch For

-Soreness of the jaw muscles
-Chewing difficulty
-Pain or tenderness in the Jaw
-Pain in the joint where the jaw connects to the skull
-Ear ache or pain around the ear.
-Grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw
-Locking of the jaw joint causing difficulty opening or closing the mouth
-Popping or clicking sound of the jaw when chewing

If you need an evaluation for TMJ, Dr. Chadwick Webster would be happy to help you. Please contact Dental Creations to make an appointment at: 918-307-0307, or come by our office in Tulsa, Oklahoma.