Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull. Pain in this area is characterized as Temporomandibular Disorder. This joint is similar to many others in the body, and as such, is susceptible to conditions like ankylosis, arthritis, and dislocations.
TMD Symptoms Include:
- Biting/chewing difficulty or discomfort
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Hearing loss
- Headaches/earaches in the morning
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Reduced ability to open/close the mouth
Causes of TMJ
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) combines a hinge action with sliding motions. The parts of the bones that interact in the joint are covered with cartilage and are separated by a small shock-absorbing disk, which normally keeps the movement smooth.
Painful TMJ disorders can occur if:
- The disk erodes or moves out of its proper alignment
- The joint’s cartilage is damaged by arthritis
- The joint is damaged by a blow or other impact event
How to Avoid TMJ/TMD
- Relax your face, remember the rule: Lips together, teeth apart
- Avoid grinding your teeth
- Avoid constant gum chewing
- Don’t cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder, either use a headset or hold the receiver to your ear
- Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
- Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
- Practice good posture, keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared
Should you notice any of these symptoms, please contact our office. We can diagnose and provide you with treatment options.