In dental care, catering to teeth and gums is popular. Most of the world’s population ends up thinking that those are the only areas of the oral cavity that dentistry covers. On the contrary, the oral cavity is a big part of your body, with numerous parts to account for, other than teeth. part of proper dental care has t do with caring for your jawbone. Ensuring that your bone tissue is healthy will go a long way in your overall health.
One major area of dentistry that dental experts cater to in the TMJ. Have you heard of this part of your oral cavity before? Read on to find out the reality of how important TMJ is to your daily life.
What Is TMJ?
It is an acronym used to refer to the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that holds the upper and lower jawbone together. It is the joint that allows for the movement of the jaw. Therefore, typical functions of the mouth like chewing, biting, yawning, singing, laughing, and even talking are linked to this joint. When the TMJ is not functioning properly, you will immediately experience hardship in performing some of these tasks.
The TMJ is located in front of the ears. It acts like a sliding hinge, not just for your jawbone, but also for your skull. Technically, this joint is the same one that connects the jawbone to your skull. The only way to find out whether your TMJ is problematic is to talk to your dentist about what you are facing. Besides, you can also consider the symptoms of the disorder.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Different symptoms are associated with TMJ disorder. They vary from patient to another, based on the severity of the disorder. Further, the cause of the disorder can also impact the kind of symptoms you experience. Some of the symptoms commonly linked in TMJ are:
- Pain when moving your mouth – any sudden movements of your mouth can be painful when you have this disorder. This is often experienced when chewing, or even when yawning.
- Swelling – the swelling indicates and inflammation that is usually as a response of your immune system to the disorder. This often manifests on the side of your cheek that has a problem. This swelling may affect your face, making it uncomfortable to go about daily life activities.
- Pain in ears – this often manifests as a tingling noise in your ears.
- Migraine headaches – the disorder will put a strain on your facial muscles, which ultimately puts the pressure on your head, causing headaches that won’t go away easily.
- Jaw-lock – this is an advanced symptom, for severe TMJ. It implies that your upper jaw and lower jaw are stuck in the open-mouth position.
Causes of TMJ Disorder
There are different things linked to problematic TMJ. However, there isn’t a specific known cause of TMJ disorder, although there are a few incidences that can lead to the disorder. They include the following:
- Traumatic injury – this is by far the most common reported cause of TMJ disorder. A significant external impact on either of your cheeks can put unnecessary pressure on this joint. If you are experiencing discomfort soon after a traumatic injury or accident, it could be that your TMJ has been impacted.
- Teeth grinding – this is a condition with the medical term of bruxism. It is when patients grind their teeth together, particularly at night when asleep. Even though bruxism does not always lead to TMJ disorder, there are several patients that require TMJ treatment in Scottsdale, AZ as a result of excessive teeth grinding.
- Stress and anxiety – before you sign up for TMJ surgery at Landmark Smiles of Scottsdale, perhaps consider that the cause of your TMJ disorder is due to stress. Stress causes you to clench your face too much. This not only puts a strain on your facial muscles but also causes TMJ disorder.
- Poor posture – there is no rule against sleeping on your side. However, that can sometimes compromise the area around the TMJ, causing unnecessary pain.
TMJ is an important part of your oral cavity that should be cared for as much as the rest of your mouth. If you suspect you have a disorder of this joint, reach out to your dentist for treatment options.