The TMJ is a joint in the jaw area that connects the lower portion of your jaw with the upper portion. Because the TMJ is such an important part of your jaw and you use it so often, having it function properly is necessary to your dental and overall health.
The Difference between TMJ and TMD
Many people use TMJ and TMD interchangeably, but they are actually very different. TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, works as a hinge that connects the temporal bones of your skull to your jaw. The TMJ is located in front of each ear. If you are having problems with this joint, then you might have TMD, or temporomandibular disorder.
All about TMD
If you are having issues or pain associated with your TMJ, it might be possible that you have TMD. Some common symptoms include:
- Pain in the face, jaw, neck and shoulders or around the ear when you speak, chew or open your mouth wide.
- Your jaw gets locked sometimes when your mouth is open or closed.
- Clicking or grating noises when you open or close your mouth. This may or may not be associated with pain.
- Trouble chewing, as if the upper and bottom portion of your teeth are not aligned properly.
- Swelling on the side of your face.
TMD can be helped, but it is important to visit the dentist as soon as possible, because the disorder usually gets worse over time and will not correct itself on its own.
Why Pace Dental?
Most dentists are able to identify TMJ disorders but many are not able to treat it properly. At Pace Dental, we know how to help. We’ve had successful TMJ treatments for many of our patients who had TMD. Our goal is to get you back to good health and enjoy your life free of jaw pain once again. If you think you might have TMD, call us today at (703) 938-6800 to schedule an appointment.