The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the upper and lower jaw. This complex joint allows movement on three axes, making it one of the most flexible joints in your body. While the acronym “TMJ” refers specifically to the joint, some people use the term interchangeably with “TMD,” or temporomandibular joint disorder. TMD refers to a variety of complications and problems that can affect this joint. Some of the most common complaints include:
- Jaw pain
- Difficulty opening or closing the mouth
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Muscle spasms
- “Locked” jaw
TMD is caused by a variety of factors, including hormones, infection, disease, trauma, stress, genetic factors, and clenching or grinding the teeth. Determining the cause is essential in evaluating and treating the problem. Because there are many potential causes of TMD, the correct treatment must be tailored to your unique circumstances. Some of the most common treatment plans include alterations such as bite adjustments oral appliances such as bite guards and night guards, or medications such as pain relievers or muscle relaxants.
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in the TMJ area, or show any of the other common symptoms of the disorder, please call our office immediately. Dr. Rizzo can help any patients who live in or around Carlstadt, no matter what the cause of the problem may be.