Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

What is a TMJ

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge joint that connects your lower skull to your upper jaw.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD, TMJD – sometimes simply referred to as TMJ) is a collection of symptoms that result from misalignment or malocclusion of the temporomandibular joint in your jaw or from pain in and around the TMJ. TMJ disorder is marked by painful chewing muscles around the jaw as well as pain directly in the TMJ. While many people experience TMJ as a once-off, transient issue, it may become uncomfortable to the point that you may need to seek treatment. For more information about TMJ treatment in Ottawa, please contact us.

The most common symptoms of TMJ issues include but are not limited to jaw pain and tenderness, popping, locking or clicking of the jaw, trouble chewing, headache, pain in one or both temporomandibular joints, aching pain around or in the ear, facial pain, as well as referred pain in neck and shoulder area.

TMJ disorder can feel like a throbbing pain in your jaw, a dull ache in your jaw or a searing pain on the side of your face. Pain and symptoms differ from patient to patient. It is advised to seek a medical professional for new or worsening pain.

TMJ disorder is a symptom complex, rather than a single condition, and often caused by multiple factors. TMJ can be caused by malocclusion (improper bite), bruxism (grinding/clenching teeth), poor posture, stress, arthritis or other joint diseases, referred pain from other facial areas, trauma to the jaw or mouth, stress, habitual daytime clenching, chewing gum, fingernail biting and more. Please note, is not an exclusive list. For more information about TMJ in Ottawa, please contact us.

Often, TMJ disorder is temporary or episodic, and the pain can be relieved with self-managed care and simple non-surgical treatments. When conservative methods are not helping, other options are available. It is advised to consult a health care professional such as your physician or dentist if you have new or worsening pain or discomfort. Occasionally it may be a sign of a more serious condition.

Seek medical attention if you have new or persistent pain or tenderness in your jaw, or if you can’t open or close your jaw completely. Your doctor or dentist can discuss possible causes and treatments for your problem.

TMJ issues are usually not a sign of a more serious condition. However, rarely TMJ pain can be a symptom of a more serious disease or disorder. TMJ pain may worsen with time if the underlying cause is left untreated. If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your jaw and face, speak to a professional.

TMJ issues often cause jaw pain and this pain is often mistaken for recurring tension headaches. A TMJ headache may not respond to regular tension headache treatments. To effectively treat the TMJ headache, you may need to focus on treating the source of your TMJ discomfort.

Contact us for more information regarding treatment options at Concept Medical.

This information is intended for general educational purposes only. It is not intended for medical advice or a medical opinion. For more information about TMJ treatment in Ottawa, please contact us.

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