Temporomandibular joint disorder, more commonly known as TMJ or TMD, can cause many annoying, painful symptoms. Some articles list as many as 20 or more symptoms, but some of the most common are:
- Headaches / migraines
- Limited or locked jaw movement
- Facial pain
- Tooth grinding or clenching
- Jaw pain or soreness
Your temporomandibular joint is the hinge that connects your lower jaw to the rest of your skull. If your bite, the position of the joint, or the muscles around it are out of proper alignment, the result can be ongoing stiffness, pain, jaw clenching, and tooth grinding. If you’ve been experiencing symptoms like these, or any other unexplained aches or pains around the jaw, face, and neck, it could be TMD.
Dr. Petroff will feel your jaw when you open and close your mouth. She will also determine the range of motion in your jaw and may press on areas around your jaw to identify pain or discomfort.
Your TMD can often be relieved with a bite guard (or splint) that you wear at night or while at home. Other treatments might include moist heat, ultrasound, or a TENS unit to help relax your jaw. Depending on where your misalignment is located, Dr. Petroff may suggest other therapies, such as tooth contouring or dental bonding, to make minimal adjustments to your teeth that will help adjust your bite.