Temporomandibular Joint: The Key Point of Your Jaw to Your Ear
You may have heard of TMJ and wondered what exactly that is. Short for temporomandibular joint, the TMJ is the hinge that connects your lower jaw to your skull and is located directly in front of your ear.
Usually, when you hear “TMJ” it is in conjunction with pain or a malfunction of the jaw. That is because the TMJ is perhaps your body’s most intricate set of joints, a complex grouping of blood vessels, bones and muscles that controls ALL mobility of the mouth. And if it is malfunctioning or misaligned, it can create pain and discomfort, irritating or intense, for the sufferer.
A number of factors may contribute to TMJ disorders, including grinding teeth, clenching jaw muscles, joint dislocation, arthritis or injury. And if you are experiencing TMJ pain or discomfort, it is important to seek professional medical help. That is certainly the case with injury, as getting hit in the jaw can cause an immediate misalignment that can be put right in a fairly simple manner by a trained professional.
Symptoms of TMJ disorders include:
- Headache and earache
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Locked jaw
- Swelling of the face
- Tender or sore facial areas neighboring the jaw
The team of professionals at BGW Dental Group can diagnose TMJ disorder and determine an appropriate treatment to restore the joint’s functionality. As with most dentists, we prefer to begin with a more conservative method, such as TMJ therapy procedures. If you display any of the specified symptoms below, contact us at 678-582-8099 and let us get you feeling your best and ready to smile again.
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