What Is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ is short for the temporomandibular joint, and you have one on either side of your head that connects your upper and lower jaws. The TMJ must work smoothly with surrounding muscles, ligaments, and discs to create the movement needed for your lower jaw to move properly when chewing or speaking.
When the TMJ is functioning properly, the movement of your jaw is smooth and easy. However, there are several ways the jaw joints can become injured or damaged and disrupt smooth movement.
Malocclusions (bite problems)
Teeth grinding or bruxism
Chronic stress or anxiety
Excessive gum chewing
When the TMJ doesn’t function smoothly, you experience pain and limited jaw movement
What Are the Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?
Numerous symptoms indicate TMJ disorder, with the most noticeable being a painful jaw. Other symptoms to be aware of include:
Stiffness or soreness in the jaw
Clicking or popping sounds
Neck and shoulder pain
Pain behind your eyes or in your temples
Jaw locked open or closed
If you experience one or more of these symptoms day after day, please call your TMJ dentist in Scottsdale to schedule an appointment. Untreated TMD creates a series of painful effects that can be so debilitating they threaten your quality of life.
When your jaw joint isn’t functioning properly, it can change your dental bite. Your jaws don’t meet evenly on both sides, which causes teeth grinding and bruxism that leads to abnormal wear and tear on your teeth, jaws, and even previous dental work.