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TMJ Syndrome

What is TMJ Syndrome?

Firstly, the Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ) are joints that connect your jaw to the bottom of your skull, there is one joint on each side of the head.

These joints work with the ligaments, muscles, discs and bones to enable you to speak and chew food.

Unfortunately, up to 15% of adults have issues with these joints that can cause the person a great deal of pain and discomfort either in the short or long term.

TMJ Syndrome
TMJ Syndrome - Chronic Headache

What causes TMJ Syndrome?

  • Injury to the jaw such as a dislocation
  • Constant grinding / clenching of teeth
  • Arthritis in the TM Joints
  • Misalignment of the teeth or jaws
  • Stress
  • Poor posture
  • Excessive chewing of gum

Symptoms of TMJ Syndrome

  • Locking of jaws
  • Clicking /Popping sound when you move your jaw
  • Problems with chewing
  • Dizziness and ear aches
  • Difficult to fully open the mouth
  • Swelling on the side of the face
  • Chronic headaches
  • Hearing issues
  • Muscle spasms in the jaw
  • Blurred vision
  • Neck or Shoulder pain

Professional Diagnosis

Your dentist will look for a limited range of movement in the jaw and listen out for clicking / popping sounds when you move your jaw. They will also examine your bite and may take x-rays or even refer you to an Oral (Maxillofacial) surgeon for treatment.

Remedies for TMJ Syndrome

  • Placing an ice pack over the TM joint area
  • Avoid chewing gum
  • Relaxation techniques to reduce stress
  • Over the counter anti-inflammatory medicine
  • Eating softer foods
  • Massage and gentle stretches of the jaw
  • Bite Guard / Dental Splint
  • Maintaining proper posture
  • Muscle relaxers
  • In severe cases surgery may be necessary
  • For other self-help remedies, you can check out this website that is dedicated to TMJ: TMJ.ORG
TMJ Syndrome - Relaxation Techniques

Summary:

In most cases the prognosis for TMJ Syndrome is quite good, it depends on how severe the condition is. Most people by modifying what they do will be able to reduce or eliminate the discomfort entirely.

Note: If you believe you may be suffering from TMJ Syndrome (especially for a prolonged period of time) please make an appointment with your local dentist asap.

If you live on the Sunshine Coast (Noosa) and would like to find out more information regarding TMJ Syndrome, or any other oral health questions feel free to give our team at “The Dental Junction” a call on 07 5473 5117 or contact us via the Website.

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