How Do I Know If I Have TMJ?

tmj-quarttuccioThe temporomandibular joint in your jaw is one of the most complicated joints in your body. The jaw’s ability to move up and down and also from side to side allows you to perform a variety of functions, including chewing, talking, and yawning. The joint’s complicated system, however, leaves it susceptible to injury and misalignment, sometimes leading to what is known as TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome) or TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). This misalignment can occur for a number of reasons, whether from trauma, teeth grinding, or arthritic breakdown of a shock-absorbing disc within the joint. It is estimated that over 10 million Americans may suffer from TMJ.

You may have TMJ if you suffer from any of the following TMJ-related symptoms:

  • Pain in your jaw, face, or neck and shoulders
  • Stiffness in your jaw, perhaps to the extent you cannot open or close your mouth properly
  • Clicking in your jaw
  • Migraine headaches
  • A noticeable difference in how your bite closes and your teeth fit together

Some of these symptoms can be due to other issues, so it’s important to have a neuromuscular dentist rule those out as a first step towards diagnosing TMJ. Once a neuromuscular dentist has diagnosed you with TMJ, there are several treatment options, including:

  • Eliminating bad dental habits of grinding your teeth or chewing on pencils
  • Relaxing the jaw muscles with electrical stimulation
  • Realigning your bite with an oral appliance.

Allowing TMJ to go untreated can lead to more serious dental problems, including gum disease and premature tooth wear-and-tear.

If you think you suffer from TMJ, please contact Dentonics by calling 412-487-6910 today to schedule a free cosmetic dentistry consultation. We serve patients in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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