TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders affect the temporomandibular joint, which is located just in front of the ear. The joint connects the jawbone (known as the mandible) to the skull (close to the temple) and is responsible for many movements, including yawning, opening and closing the mouth and biting. In most cases, TMJ disorder causes pain in the jaw and restricted movement in the TMJ. TMJ disorder is also known as TMJ pain, TMJ dysfunction and myofascial pain disorder.
TMJ disorder is common and around 1 in 10 people will experience symptoms of TMJ disorder at some point in their lives.
What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?
- Symptoms of TMJ disorder found in Central Leeds include:
- Pain when biting down and chewing on food.
- Restricted movement in the TMJ joint, which may make yawning and opening and closing the mouth difficult.
- Clicks and noises when you move the joint.
- Symptoms affecting the ears, including increased sensitivity to noise and vertigo.
- Locking of the jaw.
What causes TMJ disorder?
TMJ disorder can be caused by many different factors, including over-activity of the jaw, which may be caused by grinding and clenching the teeth and damage to the joint, which may be caused by arthritis or general wear and tear.
Treating TMJ disorder
If TMJ disorder is caused by arthritis, the underlying cause will be treated. If clenching and grinding are causing symptoms, it may be advisable to wear a protective guard during the night and we can custom-make mouth guards to prevent teeth grinding. In many cases, resting the jaw joint can ease symptoms and pain relief medication can also be very effective.