What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder, or temporomandibular joint disorder, can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw and along your face, ears, neck, shoulders, and upper back. The temporomandibular joint acts like a sliding hinge connecting your jawbone to your skull. Around 12% of people in the United States experience TJM disorders and women are affected more often than men.
When the TMJs are inflamed and irritated, it can result in the following:
- Jaw or ear pain where the joints are located, especially when biting down or chewing
- An inability to fully open and close your mouth
- Facial tenderness, pressure, or swelling
- Neck, shoulder, and upper back pain Severe headaches or migraines
- Dental pain Tingling sensation in your arms or fingers
- Popping sound when opening or closing your mouth Teeth grinding or jaw clenching
TMJ disorder is a condition that affects the jaw joints in front of the ears. These hinge joints are responsible for opening and closing your mouth so you can talk, eat, and chew. Although the exact cause of TMJ disorder is unknown, it is often the result of:
- Stress Anxiety Dental misalignment
- Bite disorders
- Teeth grinding and jaw clenching
How We Can Help
In cases where your back molars have already been damaged from teeth grinding or jaw clenching, we offer customized porcelain crowns.
We can also fit you with a customized oral appliance designed to alleviate pressure on your jaw joints. This device will fit over your teeth and should be worn at night while sleeping. It will hold your jaw in proper position and prevent your teeth from grinding.
If the source of your TMJ disorder is caused by dental misalignment, ClearCorrect® may be recommended. This orthodontic solution includes a series of clear aligners that fit comfortably over your top and bottom teeth. Orthodontic treatment can gradually shift your teeth into a healthier position and allow the jaws to meet properly.