TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint and can develop dysfunction or disorders related to the movement or comfort of the joint. “Temporo,” refers to the temple area of the skull; “mandibular,” refers to the lower jaw; and “joint” is essentially where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by trauma, poorly aligned teeth, or excess muscle tension. The two bones that meet at the jaw are buffered by cartilage and five different muscles, so TMJ problems can cause a variety of symptoms:
- Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Pain in the jaw muscles
- Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face
Dental treatments for the condition can include Night Guard Treatment, replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, and more. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. If TMJ problems are left untreated, they can become chronic and very difficult or even impossible to manage.