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9 Little Known Facts About TMJ

Woman laying in bed and grabbing her jaw in pain.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) affects millions of people around the world. Despite how common it is, not everyone is familiar with the condition. As your partner in oral health, we want to help educate you so that you feel empowered when it comes to your dental health. Here are a few things you may not have known about TMJ.

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint is the hinge joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. TMJ disorder occurs when there is pain, discomfort, or dysfunction in this joint. Symptoms of TMJ can include pain or tenderness in the jaw, difficulty chewing, clicking or popping sounds when opening or closing the mouth, and headaches.

Little Known Facts

  1. TMJ affects more women than men, with a ratio of 9:1.
  2. TMJ is most common in people between the ages of 20 and 40.
  3. Stress and anxiety can be a contributing factor to TMJ.
  4. Certain habits, such as clenching or grinding teeth, can lead to TMJ.
  5. TMJ can be caused by an injury to the jaw or face.
  6. Arthritis and other inflammatory conditions can increase the risk of developing TMJ.
  7. Certain medications, like muscle relaxants or antidepressants, can worsen TMJ symptoms.
  8. TMJ can cause pain and discomfort in the ears, neck, and shoulders.
  9. Some people with TMJ may also experience tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

Managing TMJ

If you are experiencing symptoms of TMJ, there are several things you can do to manage the condition. Here are a few tips:

  • Apply heat or cold to the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or yoga, to reduce stress and tension.
  • Avoid hard, chewy, or sticky foods that can aggravate TMJ symptoms.
  • Maintain good posture to reduce strain on your neck and jaw muscles.
  • Avoid habits such as clenching or grinding your teeth.
  • Use a mouthguard at night to prevent teeth grinding and clenching.
  • Book an appointment with us. We’ll provide a thorough examination and diagnosis of the issue, as well as help build a care plan that works to resolve your issue.

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