What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ Disorder or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder is pain in the area of the lower jaw where the head and jaw connect. The pain experienced may be a result of muscles in the area, problems with the joint or pain in the face around that area. TMJ Disorder can cause severe pain, soreness and problems with speech.
Some of the causes for pain and soreness in the area are:
- Misaligned teeth
- Tension from grinding or clenching
Although some of the pain in the TMJ area subsides over time, sometimes the pain will remain. Some steps can be taken to help relieve discomfort:
- Use ice packs and mild heat packs
- Eat soft foods
- Relaxation of the jaws – avoid extreme movements or jaw clenching
- Pain medication
If mild treatments do not work, other options such as surgery or referral to a physician may be explored. Consult with your dentist if you are experiencing discomfort in the TMJ area.