Does your jaw click or pop when you open your mouth? Unfortunately, this noise indicates disharmony in the elements that make up the jaw. Just as any other joint that pops with use, this is a sign of an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, which most of us would consider to be our jaw. It is located just in front of the ear on either side of the head, and includes the joints and ligaments that hold the lower jaw to the skull, and should facilitate a smooth and painless movement. However, if there is a problem within the joint, then it can cause symptoms of a temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.
The symptoms of a TMD can vary, but some of the most common signs are:
Jaw popping, stiffness, or locking
Headaches / migraines
If all or any of these symptoms sound familiar, it’s time to get it checked out.
The first step towards treatment is to find the underlying cause of the the disfunction, and then take steps to re-establish harmony between the function of the muscles, the movement of the joints, and the fit of the teeth. This could be established with an oral appliance, orthodontics, stress reduction, building up the back teeth to correct the bite or, in extreme cases, surgery.
Although pain can be managed with painkillers, they should not be treated as a permanent solution. Dr. Provencher is a leader in the treatment of TMD, and will work with you to find both the cause and the appropriate solution, so you can live free of TMJ pain.
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