Do you wake up in the morning with a jaw ache? It may ache from your ears down, you may have a headache, or even a pain in the neck…literally. If so, you should have your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) examined. What is your temporomandibular joint? It is the joint that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull. Your temporal bones are located at the front of each ear. As the joint that attaches your lower jaw to your skull, your TMJ is the reason you can move your jaw, open your mouth to eat, talk, chew, yawn, and even move your jaw side to side.
You can feel your temporomandibular joint by putting your fingers in front of your ears and opening your mouth. You have a TMJ on each side. It feels like a large round bone, and although most of us are not even aware that it is there, it is extremely important to your survival. If your TMJ doesn’t function right, not only can it cause pain, but you can have difficulty eating and talking, two basic needs for your survival.
Symptoms of TMD
Okay, so we were talking about TMJ so what is TMD? TMD stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. If you consistently suffer from headaches, neck pain, jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, ringing in your ears, dizziness, a clicking jaw, popping jaw, stiff jaw, or limited jaw motion you may have TMD.
What are the Causes of TMD?
Grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw, also referred to as bruxism, is one common cause of TMD. Other causes include:
- Misalignment of the teeth or jaw
- Trauma to the face, chin, or jaw
ABOUT YOUR GRAND PRAIRIE DENTIST:
Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced general, restorative, and family dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you and your family are new or returning patients, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.