TMJ is an acronym standing for temporomandibular joint. The joint acts like hinge that slides and connects your jaw bone to your skull. TMJ disorders, also referred to as temporomandibular disorder (TMD), can cause a variety of symptoms including pain in the joint and the muscles in your jaw. The joint and muscles that are affected control the movement of your jaw. Dr. Matthew McRae Jr. in Athens, GA is experienced in treating TMJ disorders and can address your symptoms.
The majority of people suffering from TMD are between the ages of 20 to 40. More women than men experience TMD.
In most cases, the causes of TMD are difficult to determine and may be caused by a combination of problems. Your TMD may be caused by arthritis or a jaw injury. People with jaw pain have a tendency to clench or grind their teeth.
The difficulty in identifying a cause for TMD can make TMJ treatments difficult, however TMJ treatments do exists and can help your condition. In most instances, TMD can be treated with self-management and extra care. Only in severe cases of TMD will a TMJ treatment require surgery.
Symptoms of TMD disorders may include:
- Pain and/or tenderness of your jaw
- An aching pain in the face and/or in and around your ear
- Difficulty or discomfort while chewing
- Locking of the joint • Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
- A tired feeling in the face
- A sudden uncomfortable bite, as if your upper and lower teeth are not fitting together
- Swelling on the side of the face
- Headaches, dizziness, neck aches, or earaches
TMD can also cause clicking sounds or grating sensations when opening your mouth or chewing. If you experience these symptoms without pain or limited movements in your jaw, you may not need to seek TMJ treatments but should still be evaluated to be sure. If you are having persistent pain or tenderness, or cannot open or close your jaw completely, please call us to schedule an evaluation. Dr. McRae in Athens, GA can explore possible causes of your TMD and recommend available TMJ treatments.