Jaw and bite disorders affect tens of thousands of men and women each year. At All Dental Tampa, residents of Tampa and cities across Florida can now receive advanced TMJ therapy to correct problems associated with a misaligned jaw or damaged bite.
TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint,” or jaw joint. These are the small joints in front of each ear that attach the lower jaw to the skull, and happen to be the most complex joints in the entire body. The area of the face where the TMJ is located is an intricate network of bones, including the teeth, muscles, and nerves. Because of this, TMJ (dysfunction) conditions affect many areas of the body, from the top of the head in migraine-like headaches to numbness or tingling in the arms and pain in the neck or shoulders.
Common symptoms of TMJ are:
- Pain in the facial muscles and jaw joints may radiate to the neck or shoulders. Joints may be overstretched. You may experience muscle spasms from TMJ. You may feel pain every time you talk, chew, or yawn. Pain usually appears in the joint itself, in front of the ear, but it may move elsewhere in the skull, face, or jaw.
- Ear pain, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and hearing loss. Sometimes people mistake TMJ pain for an ear problem, such as an ear infection, when the ear is not the problem at all.
- Clicking sounds and popping when the joints move. This means the disc may be in an abnormal position. Sometimes no treatment is needed if the sounds give you no pain.
- Swelling. Your face and mouth may swell on the affected side.
Who suffers from TMJ?
The majority of people suffer to a greater or lesser degree from TMJ. Although women report more pain from TMJ, TMJ in men causes as much or more damage to the teeth, gums, bones and joints. Children are especially sensitive to TMJ and usually show early signs with ear infections, leaning their head on an arm, lip, cheek, or finger biting, sucking or chewing, headaches, snoring, grinding of their teeth at night, and significant chewing of gum.