Problems with your jaw and the muscles that control it are known as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD,TMJ). The temporomandibular joint is what connects your jaw bone to your skull and helps with the movement of your teeth and mouth. TMJ disorder can cause pain in your jaw joint and muscles within the movement of your jaw. Grinding your teeth can sometimes develop a serious problem with your jaw, which if left untreated, can ultimately cause harm to your teeth, gums and bone structure of your mouth.
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder:
- Pain/tenderness in your jaw or aching pain in and around your ear
- Discomfort while chewing, or finding it difficult to chew
- Aching facial pain, frequent headaches, neck aches, and in some cases tooth sensitivity
- Limited movement of your jaw, or locking of the jaw— making it hard to open and close your mouth (experiencing a clicking or popping sound when opening and closing your mouth)
TMJ Treatment Options:
Treatment methods for TMJ/TMD disorders depend on a number of different factors. Some treatments for TMD include oral anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen or aspirin), wearing a small plastic appliance in your mouth as you sleep, temporary changes in diet, and physical therapy.