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The temporomandibular joint, TMJ, is found on both sides of the jaw. We all have TMJ. However, for some of us, a TMJ disorder can cause discomfort. This means that when you hear someone complaining, “I have TMJ!” What they are likely referring to is a problem with their TMJ.
So, let us break down what the TMJ does and why it can be problematic for some.
The name of this joint is derived from its connection points. It connects the skull’s temporal bone and the mandible (jaw). The TMJ acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. It has an essential job as it allows you to open and close your mouth. What is especially interesting about the TMJ is that both joints must move in tandem to accomplish the goal of moving and opening your mouth. It is a bilateral joint that functions as one to get a bit technical.
These joints have a critical job and are used frequently. Therefore, due to the usage and other factors, many people may experience problems with their TMJ. Signs of TMJ disorder may include:
The disorder has a wide range of causes, and the direct cause is often unknown. However, here are a few of the common causes of TMJ disorder:
Upon diagnosis of the disorder, your dentist will provide a treatment plan. Conservative treatment options include:
In some cases, your dentist may recommend additional treatments like ultrasound and even surgery in certain instances.
If you have been experiencing discomfort in the jaw it is time to talk to your dentist. They can diagnose and create a treatment plan to help decrease your symptoms.
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