TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint. It is a joint in your jaw that can sometimes develop problems. The name of this temporomandibular joint dysfunction is TMJ.
What Causes TMJ?
TMJ can be caused by overuse of the temporomandibular joint. Things that can cause clenching of teeth or tightening of the jaw are stress or anxiety. Tension in the jaw can cause TMJ.
TMJ can also be caused by a misalignment of the upper and lower joints. This can be caused by a car accident or natural occurrence Inflammation of that joint can also be caused by arthritis.
A Locked Jaw
Clicking in the Jaw
Jaw, Cheek or Temple Soreness
Options for Treatment:
Find ways to eliminate habits that put pressure or stress on the jaw, like clenching teeth, chewing gum or tightening jaw muscles. Other treatment options are medication, dental treatment, and surgery.
The medication used is usually an over-the-counter pain reliever like Ibuprofen. For more severe pain, anti-inflammatory prescription medication can be an option. A dental appliance such as a biteplate can be an effective treatment for grinding teeth and clenched jaws.
As a last resort, surgery can be performed to repair or remove the disk between the jaw and the temporal bone. This option, however, is for extreme cases only and should only be pursued after all other options have been exhausted.
Written by Carrie Reeder.