When most people think of pain occurring in the mouth, they associate it with the teeth or gums, however, there are other cases, such as those involving the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that can cause significant discomfort in the jaw area. Here are some of the common problems associated with TMJ.
Causes of TMJ
Unlike many disorders where the causes can be easily recognized, the factors that lead to TMJ are more difficult to determine. In general, the causes of TMJ are grouped into two main categories – those that involve pain in the muscles working the jaw and those that cause pain in the joint itself. Pain in the muscles that work the jaw can be caused by the clenching of teeth during the night or by disorders that cause excessive jaw stress. When it comes to pain in the joint itself, this pain usually comes from wear within the jaw area, sometimes brought on by arthritis.
Common Symptoms of TMJ
There is no doubt that the foremost problem of TMJ is the pain in the jaw area that is linked to the disorder. However, there are some other common problems caused by TMJ, such as a reduction in jaw movement or a clicking noise that can be heard when chewing. In addition to these issues, those that are suffering from TMJ sometimes develop symptoms that affect the ear, including an overall sensitivity to sound and even dizziness or vertigo.
While there is no sure cure for TMJ, there are a variety of ways that the problems related to it can be decreased. Perhaps the most popular method for controlling TMJ is to give the jaw a rest for a specified amount of time by avoiding unnecessary movement. This can include eating only soft food items and intentionally keeping your upper and lower jaws from coming in contact with each other. Furthermore, your dentist may suggest using a mouthpiece which will help prevent patients from clenching their teeth while they sleep.
One of the most overlooked mouth problems is undoubtedly temporomandibular joint or TMJ. And while the causes of TMJ are up for debate, the common symptoms are well-known. Perhaps the most notable symptom of TMJ is pain in the jaw area, including the muscle that controls the movement of the jaw. In addition, sufferers of TMJ may notice an audible clicking sound when they are chewing, and they could develop ear issues as well. If you feel that you may be suffering from TMJ, contact a trained dental professional to get further advice on the steps that should be taken to remedy the problem.