TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint): An Overview

By January 11, 2019 TMJ Disorder

Do you ever experience jaw stiffness or tenderness? Maybe you suffer from frequent earaches or headaches. Although it may be easy to attribute some of these symptoms to stress or anxiety, you could actually be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) a common condition affecting the jaw joints.

Like most cases, each TMJ diagnosis differs from patient to patient, and may consist of wide assortment of seemingly isolated symptoms. However, the one common thread that seems to affect every patient is persistent aches and pains.

But, the good news is that you don’t have to put up with TMJ discomfort anymore. Dr. Timothy E. Mickiewicz and his highly trained team of professionals are equipped with the knowledge and the tools needed to properly identify, assess, and treat your TMJ, helping you alleviate your pain and reduce the risk for future problems.

About TMJ Disorder

Also referred to as “TMD,” TMJ disorder is a neuromuscular ailment that develops from jaw misalignment. According to The National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, approximately 10 million American adults suffer from this debilitating oral health condition. TMJ is also known to affect more than twice as many women as it does men.

Comprised of an intricate system of ligaments, cartilage, nerves, muscles, and bones that operate right beneath the surface of your face and jaw, this structure facilitates many of the signals and sensations that take place in your upper body.

The temporomandibular joint, specifically, binds your skull and jaw together, allowing you to chew, speak, and swallow. When misaligned, this ball-and-socket joint becomes irritated and inflamed, placing excess stress on your jaw area. Unfortunately, that stress quickly morphs into extreme pain, extending beyond your jaw and into your neck, back, and various other parts of your body.

Common TMJ Symptoms

Because many of the symptoms of TMJ can easily be confused with other chronic conditions, there is no widely accepted standard or measurement in determing whether or not a patient has TMJ. But, during your consultation with Dr. Mickiewicz, you can expect a comprehensive examination and evaluation of your medical history. This will help him tailor a specific treatment plan for you. Most people suffering from TMJ typically experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Chronic, reoccurring headaches or migraines
  • Difficulty opening and closing mouth
  • Swelling of the face
  • Pain in or around the ear
  • Limited jaw mobility
  • Facial pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Neck pain
  • Ear ringing (tinnitus)
  • Popping or clicking sounds in jaw
  • Shoulder or back pain
  • Sore or sensitive teeth

What Causes TMJ?

The root cause of TMJ isn’t as easily identifiable as other conditions. But, the origins of the pain can stem from any of the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Injury or dislocation (like whiplash)
  • Teeth gritting or grinding (often from stress or during sleep)
  • Tooth or jaw misalignment

Contact Us Today!

If you’re suffering from chronic pain and are unsure of where it’s coming from, get in touch with our team of professionals today! TMJ is definitely not something you have to deal with alone. It’s our job to get to the heart of the matter and relieve you of any pain you may be feeling, ultimately improving your oral health. Contact us at (916) 469-9178 or visit our Sacramento, CA office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mickiewicz. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have!

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