Your TMJ is your temporomandibular joint. You have two TMJs or temporomandibular joints and they are located on the sides of your face just in front of your ear. These joints connect your lower jaw to your skull so you can open your mouth to talk, eat, drink, yell, yawn, sing, etc. Problems may arise with your TMJs and if they do they are referred to as TMDs (temporomandibular joint disorders). The acronyms TMJ and TMD, however, are often used interchangeably. Read our Q’s and A’s about TMJ’s.
Questions and Answers
Q: Who can get TMDs?
A: Anyone can develop a temporomandibular joint disorder but research indicates that it is more often found in women than men, and most commonly in individuals between 20 and 40 years of age.
Q: What causes it?
A: Causes of TMD include injury to the jaw, to the jaw joint, or to the muscles in your head and/or neck such as whiplash or a heavy blow. Bruxing (grinding and clenching your teeth) puts undue pressure on your teeth and jaws and can lead to a TMD. Arthritis in the jaw joint, or a problem with the disc in the joint can lead to TMD. Stress is known to cause people to tighten their facial muscles and clench their teeth which can also lead to TMD.
Q: How will I know if I have it?
A: TMDs present with several symptoms including: stiff jaw, achy jaw, headache pain, pain or tenderness in your jaw, pain in the neck and/or shoulders, clicking or popping jaw, ear pain or a plugged feeling in your ear.
ABOUT YOUR NORTH RICHLAND HILLS DENTIST:
With over 25 years of professional experience, Dr. Steven M. Huffstutler and his caring team proudly provide exceptional preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatment to patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth, including North Richland Hills, Denton, the Mid-cities, Southlake, and all surrounding communities. We also have extensive experience helping patients find relief from painful TMJ disorders (various forms of jaw dysfunction). To schedule an appointment with Dr. Huffstutler, contact our office today by calling 817-577-1444.