The joints and muscles where the skull attaches to the lower jaw, providing you the ability to open and close your jaw – to talk, chew, and swallow – are called temporomandibular joints, or TMJ. In Dr. Sapp's initial dental examination he checks for signs of TMJ disorders.
Some common symptoms of a TMJ disorder include:
- Muscle tenderness
- Clicking or popping sound (some joint sound can be normal, but often it’s an indicator of TMJ trouble)
- Difficulty or pain when chewing or talking
- Difficulty opening your mouth wide
- Swelling around the joint
- A tired feeling in your jaw
- Difficulty swallowing
- Headaches (at back of the head, forehead, and sinus area)
- Ear pain or ringing
- Stiff or painful muscles in shoulders and neck
- Symptoms can occur on just one side or both sides.
Some causes of TMJ disorders:
- Grinding or clenching of your teeth
- Any severe or prolonged stress on the joint
Disorders in this area can be quite painful and frustrating. The good news is, if you have a TMJ issue, Dr. Sapp has many quality treatments available.