TMJ: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments for Your Jaw Joint Disorder

Symptoms Causes

and Health

Having trouble with your jaw joint? You may be experiencing signs and symptoms of TMJ, which stands for Temporomandibular Joint. It is a disorder of a complex jaw joint located in front of the ears, responsible for allowing the jaw to move up and down and side to side. It may cause pain and limited movement in the joint. People often seek relief by changing the way they talk, chew, or yawn, but this is only a temporary solution.

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Symptoms of TMJ

Common symptoms of TMJ include:

  • Pain and stiffness in the face, jaw, neck and shoulders
  • Pain when talking, chewing, or yawning
  • Difficulty in opening and/or closing the jaw
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds from the TMJ when you open your mouth
  • Headaches, earaches, and pain in and around the ears

Causes of TMJ

The most common causes of TMJ syndrome include:

  • Improper alignment of the teeth or jaw
  • Grinding or clenching the teeth
  • Damage to the joint due to arthritis or a fall
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Jaw injuries or disorders

Treatments for TMJ

The most effective treatments for TMJ depend on the cause and severity of the disorder. Commonly recommended treatments for TMJ include:

  • Medication, such as anti-inflammatories, to reduce pain and swelling
  • Physical therapy to improve posture and muscle function
  • Jaw exercises to reduce tension
  • Mouth guards to prevent teeth grinding
  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) to relax the jaw muscles
  • Surgery in cases where the disorder is severe

TMJ can be a painful and limiting disorder, but it is possible to find relief with the right treatments and lifestyle changes. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, talk to your doctor to explore treatment options.

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