What is TMJ Pain?

By Bart Icles

You might have already heard about temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMJD. This is quite a painful medical condition that affects our jaw joints and is also referred to as TMJ or TMJ pain. The jaw joints or our temporomandibular joints help connect our lower jaw or mandible to our temporal bone at the side of our head. We would be able to feel our TMJ if we place our hands on our temporal bone directly in front of our ear on each side of our head. Each time we chew or move our jaw joints, we can cause it to degrade. Our jaw joints are among the most frequently used joints in our body and we can very easily damage, injure or misalign them.

Our TMJ is more like all the other joints in our body. It responds to injuries through inflammation, causing it swell. This stretches pain sensitive nerves within the joint capsules and gives rise to the condition called TMJ pain. However, in many cases, TMJ symptoms are observed away from the jaw joints.

TMJ dysfunction can cause difficulty in chewing and talking. It can also cause pain and discomfort anywhere in our jaw area but it can also cause other problems like headache, neck pain, and back pain. It can also cause anxiety, depression, dizziness, emotional problems, hearing loss, loss of balance, nausea, nervousness, partial lisp, ringing in the ears, shoulder pain, and visual disturbances.

It is important to seek medical attention when you have problems with your TMJ. A simple test that can help you check whether or not you might be suffering from TMJ pain or dysfunction involves placing three fingers from one of your hands directly next to each other and then trying to place them inside your opened mouth. If they cannot fit because you are unable to open your mouth wide enough or if you can hear clicking or popping sounds while opening your mouth or when there are shifts in the smooth movement of your jaw, it is best that you see a doctor.

Causes of TMJ pain remain to be unclear but there are some causes that have been commonly identified by doctors and patients. These include anxiety and stress (which can cause tension in the facial and jaw muscles), bruxism, teeth clenching, excessive gum chewing, nail biting, injury to the jaw or head, orthodontic treatment like braces, bad bite, and muscle spasm. - 30540

About the Author:

Sign Up for our Free Newsletter

Enter email address here