Impact or trauma to the jaw, chin, neck, or the side of the face can result in damage to the temporomandibular joints – the hinges of the jaw that connect the lower jaw to the skull. Damage or inflammation of these joints is referred to as temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ Disorder or TMD.
TMJ Disorder may also indicate an internal problem with the muscles surrounding the joint or the joint itself. If the disk of the joint begins to erode or moves out of its proper place, you may experience TMJ Disorder. When the cartilage surrounding the TMJ is damaged by arthritis, you can be more prone to develop this common condition. Additionally, a poor bite relationship and even overuse of the jaws have been shown to contribute to TMJ Disorder. In fact, if you have a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth, you may be at risk for developing TMJ Disorder.
In some cases, however, the exact cause of TMJ Disorder remains unknown. TMJ Disorder remains more common in women than men, and is more prevalent in patients between the ages of 20 and 40. When left untreated, this common condition can significantly impact your quality of life. In addition to causing discomfort in the jaw, the pain from TMJ Disorder can spread to the ears, head, neck, and shoulders. To learn more about TMJ disorder and treatment options for the condition, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us today.