Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the name of the joint located on either side of your head, just in front of your ears. These joints connect your jawbone to your skull. The TMJ can rotate and move forward, backward and side to side and is one of the most complex joints in the body. It lets you chew, swallow, speak, and yawn in combination with other muscles and ligaments.
When you have a problem with the muscle, bone or other tissue in the area in and around the TMJ, you may have a TMJ disorder (TMD). Symptoms vary, but may include: pain and tenderness in or around the ear, face, temples or the jaw joint or jaw muscles; neck pain and headaches; problems opening or closing your mouth; noises such as popping, clicking, crunching or grinding when you chew or yawn.
We diagnose TMD by a thorough examination and also possibly x-rays.
Treatment may include: relaxation techniques; referral to a physiotherapist or chiropractor to help you ease muscle pain; or medicine for pain, inflammation or tense muscles. A night guard also may help your jaw joints and muscles to relax.
Whether caused by jaw injuries or joint diseases, TMJ can be very painful and disruptive to your lives. Our Redcliff Family Dental Centre team has been trained to deal with this problem.