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North Atlanta Family Dentistry

Symptoms of TMJ


Man with TMD experiencing jaw painYour mouth is made up of several working parts. One of these components is the temporomandibular joints. These joints are located on each side of your face, right where your lower jaw connects to your skull. They are responsible for the movement of your mouth, allowing you to open and close it as well as move the lower jaw from side to side.

In most cases, these joints work quietly, so you hardly ever notice them. However, if they become irritated and inflamed, every movement can become painful, indicating a condition known as TMJ. At North Atlanta Family Dentistry, we can help you to recognize the symptoms of TMJ so that you can get the treatment you need right away.

What is TMJ?


TMJ is the acronym used to refer to the temporomandibular joints. It is also used as a generic term to describe the different issues that affect the health and functioning of these joints. Another term often used is temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. The two acronyms are often used interchangeably to refer to the same condition. TMJ can significantly impact your oral health, the functions of your mouth, and your quality of life.

What Causes TMJ?


There are several different issues that can cause TMJ. Common causes include:
•  Bruxism. This is a condition in which you grind and clench your teeth.
•  Crooked teeth. Misaligned teeth can lead to bruxism, which then leads to TMJ.
•  Facial trauma. Facial injuries can cause irritation and inflammation in your temporomandibular joints.
•  Certain types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
•  Poor posture. Poor posture can cause neck strain and abnormal functions of your jaw muscles.

Symptoms of TMJ


There are many symptoms that can point toward TMJ. These symptoms include
•  Jaw pain. This is one of the most noticeable and most common symptoms of TMJ. The pain is typically located around the joints, but you may also notice facial pain, particularly around the eyes, sinuses, and your forehead.
•  Pain when you move your mouth, such as when you are eating or speaking.
•  Having difficulty eating certain types of foods, particularly those that are hard, crunchy, sticky, chewy, or that require you to open your mouth wide.
•  A limited range of motion when it comes to opening your mouth. You may find that you cannot open your mouth as wide as you were once able to do without experiencing pain.
•  Clicking, popping or grinding when you move your mouth.
•  Uneven wear patterns on your teeth. You may also notice that your teeth are becoming damaged.
•  Chronic headaches. The pain from your jaw can radiate up into your skull, which can then lead to headaches.
•  Earaches. Again, because of the proximity between your temporomandibular joints and your ears, the pain from your jaw can radiate to your ears, leading to painful earaches.
•  Pain in your neck, shoulders, and back.

The symptoms of TMJ do not always appear all at once. Instead, they begin minor, often barely noticeable. Over time, however, they continue to worsen. Some symptoms, such as headaches, earaches, and neck pain may lead you to think that you are experiencing a completely different issue, which may lead to you seeking medical care instead of dental care. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is essential that you schedule a dental appointment right away.

If you are experiencing symptoms of TMJ, it is important that you seek dental care right away. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call North Atlanta Family Dentistry at (470) 387-0500 today.

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5805 State Bridge Rd Ste L, Johns Creek, GA 30097
208 Pirkle Ferry Rd A Cumming, GA 30040
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