You have probably heard about TMJ disorders before or at least heard the term at some point. But do you actually know what a TMJ disorder is or what the condition involves? Well, if not, we’re here to help. The team here at our Orange County cosmetic dentistry office would like to take a moment right now to discuss the causes and symptoms of TMJ disorders. By learning what causes a TMJ disorder and what the symptoms are, you can catch the problem early and have us develop a treatment plan for you. Diagnosing and treating a TMJ disorder early means fewer potential problems for you in the long run.
The abbreviation “TMJ” refers to the temporomandibular joint. This is the jaw joint, the one at the juncture between the skull and the lower jaw. This is one of the more complex joints in the human body since it has to do many different tasks. There are times that the joint can become misaligned or damaged in different ways, leading to a TMJ disorder (or TMD).
One of the most common causes of an Orange County TMJ disorder is teeth grinding. People who clench their teeth or grind their teeth at night place a great amount of stress on the jaw, which can affect the TMJ. Another common cause of a TMJ disorder is damage to the cartilage in the jaw area. These pads of cartilage in the jaw can gradually wear down over time, leading to pain and discomfort in the jaw. People who have experienced a jaw dislocation or who have arthritis may also notice a TMJ disorder develop.
The most common symptoms of a TMJ disorder are clicks, pops, and crunches in the jaw joint. These can be quite painful in some cases. Discomfort in the jaw is also a common symptom of a TMJ disorder. If you have a TMJ disorder, may also notice that your jaw locks at a certain point as well, making it difficult to speak, yawn, or eat.
If you suspect that you have TMJ disorder, it’s important that you speak with a dentist as soon as possible so it can be dealt with. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our Orange County cosmetic dentistry practice today.