TMJ stands for Temporo-Mandibular Joint and refers to the point where your lower jaw joins your skull, directly in front of the ear on each side of your head. Your TMJ is exercised every time you talk, eat or swallow. As part of your comprehensive dental examination, we check the TMJ to ensure it is functioning properly.
Problems with the TMJ are fairly common. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 20% of adults have some sort of TMJ dysfunction. Problems with your TMJ may produce the following symptoms:
- Clicking of the jaw when opening your mouth
- A grating sound when chewing
- Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
- Aching or tender jaws
- Clenching your jaws or grinding your teeth while sleeping
TMJ problems can arise from arthritis, jaw trauma (such as a blow to the jaw} or degeneration of the joint. Please let us know if you experience any pain in this joint before or during your visit. We can discuss options to alleviate any discomfort you may have while chewing, talking or when you wake up.
If your dentist recommends you see a specialist, they will organize a referral for you.