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TMJ & Jaw Problems

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TMJ Disoders

The real pain in your jaw.

A woman suffering from toothache
Each person has a joint where the head and the jaw meet. There is also cartilage there which provides a buffer for this joint. Five muscles surround this joint. All of this together is known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The word “temporal” is referring to the temple area of the skull. The word “mandible” is speaking of the lower jaw. When trouble develops in this joint, it is referred to as a TMJ disorder.

Symptoms of TMJ

A blonde woman explaining to her dentist her tmj pain
Sometimes these symptoms are temporary, and other times they last for many years. These symptoms are not always indicative of a TMJ disorder, so it is imperative to consult with your dentist about any of these symptoms.

Typical TMJ symptoms include:

  • Pain or aches in the facial muscles
  • Difficulty opening and closing your mouth
  • Pain while chewing
  • Aches or pains in the area of either ear
  • A “clicking” sound while talking/chewing
  • Pain or tenderness in the neck and shoulder areas
  • Swelling on the side of your face

Causes of TMJ

A mature man with beard smiling
It is often difficult to pinpoint the cause of a TMJ disorder, but the following causes are possibilities:
  • The joint may be injured due to an impact in the TMJ area
  • The TMJ may be under pressure due to regular grinding or clenching of the teeth
  • The disk within the TMJ may be misaligned
  • The TMJ may be under pressure due to constant stress and tension of the facial muscles
  • A patient may experience rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ
There seems to be no single solution for resolving TMJ disorders, but options include the replacement of missing teeth, the adjustment of a patient’s bite, the realignment of the teeth, filling gaps that have developed between the teeth, or other basic dental treatments.

West Chester Dental Arts have really pleasant doctors, hygienists, and staff. They are highly competent, and I always enjoy great outcomes!

John G. (5-Star Google Review)

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