TMJ – Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Pain in the face and jaw can be unbearable, made even worse when the reason is unexplained. For most of us, facial pain is connected to the temporomandibular joint (also known as the TMJ). The TMJ is the hinge-like joint that connects your upper and lower jaw bones. Anytime this joint isn’t working correctly, it could mean you’re having symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder.
This complex joint is a series of muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones that move your jaw forward, backward, and side to side. When things aren’t right in your jaw joint, you can experience pain and trouble moving your jaw.
Symptoms of TMJ
If you’re experiencing any of the following, you may be dealing with a temporomandibular joint disorder:
- Pain or tenderness in your jaw joint
- Pain in your neck or shoulders
- Tired feeling or pain in your face
- Swelling on the side of your face
- Pain in or around your ear
- Pain while chewing or an uncomfortable bite
- Hearing problems or ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Locked jaw, which makes it difficult to open or close your mouth
- Clicking or grating sensation when opening and closing your mouth
Here at Dental 359 we can diagnose TMJ disfunction and may be able to help in simple cases or refer you to an appropriate specialist. A variety of treatments exist from using a bite splint or night guard to botulinum toxin A injected into associated muscles to reduce grinding and relieving TMJ disfunction. While this agent can completely paralyze a muscle, the goal is only to substantially weaken it.
This reduces the hyperactivity of jaw and related muscles working too hard, and helps break the chronic pain cycle. It can help with pain on one or both sides of the mouth and jaw. It is also effective at treating dull, aching pain (rather than sharp pain, which is more associated with joint or disc-related problems). Trigger points can often be identified in these muscles.
Call Dental 359 on 1300 625 625 to schedule a TMJ assessment today.