White Bear Smiles

White Bear Smiles

What is TMJ Syndrome?

First of all, TMJ is an acronym for your temporomandibular joint, which is where the mandible, or lower jaw, meets the skull, the temporal bone. The most common cause of facial pain, after toothache, is TMJ syndrome, sometimes called temporomandibular disorder (TMD).

One symptom is pain that results from chewing and can radiate into the head. Along with the pain, the condition also sometimes causes a clicking or popping sound when the joint moves. A patient may also suffer from limited jaw opening and episodes of the jaw locking in either an open or closed position. The condition can also cause severe headaches, dizziness and pain or stiffness in the neck and shoulders.

Treatment for the condition usually requires a team approach, including a patient's primary care physician and dentist. Treatment can include patient education, medication, the use of an appliance to prevent tooth grinding, also called bruxism, and in some cases, surgery.

If you suffer from any of the above-mentioned symptoms, talk to your dentist about courses of action.