Common medical questions and answers through blogs and articles

What is TMJ?

TMJ is a very dangerous and also painful experience. Most people that know what TMJ is also know when they have it. But, if you have never heard of TMJ or temporomandibular joint disease you might have it and never know it. If you want more information about temporomandibular joint or you want to know how you can get rid of, it’s a good idea to keep reading below for more information. We will be going over what TMJ is, What Causes TMJ, How to Diagnose TMJ as well as what can happen if you have temporomandibular joint disease and you ignore it.

What Is TMJ

TMJ or temporomandibular joint involves the joints which are located on the sides of your head – closer to your jaw, rather than your temporal lobes. These are the joints which essentially allow you to speak, eat/chew and yawn. Temporomandibular joint disorders happen when your joints are not working correctly. Your temporomandibular joints impact all areas of your face, hence why they can cause so much pain when they are working incorrectly.

What Causes TMJ

According to the American Dental Association, over 15% of adults in the US suffer from some kind of a chronic pain in their joints from jaw pain to headaches and migraines and even earaches. Most of the time, this pain is caused in people ages 20-45 years of age. The pain can be temporary and only last for a few days or some people deal with it for years on end. The cause of TMJ really is unclear, but some people in the Dental Office  believe this is caused by problems from within the muscles of the jaw. Because of this, you may get TMJ if you do the following:

– Clench or grind your teeth – can wear away the joint

– Stress – stress can make you tighten your face muscles or jaw

– Osteoarthritis

– Injury to your head, neck or jaw


While most people that know what TMJ is, they know how to diagnose it. If you don’t know what TMJ is or have never experienced it, you may need some clueing in on the symptoms of this disorder. Symptoms include things like:

– Pain or aching pain when you chew, open your mouth widely, speak or even yawn.

– Not being able to open your mouth fully

– Locking of your jaws when you speak, chew or yawn

– Clicking in your jaws when you speak, chew or yawn

– Discomfort when chewing

– Earaches, headaches, migraines

– Toothaches, neck aches or dizziness

If you are having any or more than one of the above mentioned symptoms, it might be a good idea to call a Dental Office. Not only can they better diagnose you to see if you have TMJ, but they can also help in finding a way to fix the problem at hand. They may suggest a certain medication, mouth guard or even use trigger point injections as a form of treatment. If all else fails they mean even opt you in for surgery. Surgery is a last resort though since this is irreversible. To get a better idea on if you have TMJ or what to do about it, make sure you talk to at least 2-3 different dentists. Better to get a second and third opinion, just in case. If you are having pain which causes discomfort or makes you not be able to sleep, think about taking something like ibuprofen and stay away from chewy or hard foods for the time being.

What Happens If Its Left Untreated

Most people like to ignore pains, aches and issues when they know something is wrong. Maybe it’s a sense of it’ll go away on its own, or it costs too much money or it takes too much time. But, TMJ is not something you should ignore by any means and in most cases it’s not something that will just go away on its own because it deals with your joints and them working incorrectly for one reason or another. If left untreated, you could be in more pain than when you started. Here are a list of health problems you can expect if you ignore TMJ any longer – some are shirt term while others are long term and can cause other issues, other more serious issues.

– Bad Oral health

– Bad headaches, ear aches and migraines

– Lack of sleep – which can lead to a whole slew of other problems and it’s just not safe!

– Hearing problems

– Eating disorders – eating hard or soft foods can lead to pain which can lead to malnutrition or eating disorders

This is something that should be taken very seriously. It’s also something that should be treated sooner, rather than later. Make sure you find a trusted Dental Office to take care of your TMJ for you and in the meantime look online for any temporary relief that you can do now while waiting for an appointment with a dentist.

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