Do you know someone who has complained about having “TMJ” while rubbing their temples or wincing in pain as they move their jaw? TMJ pain can be very disruptive. If you are personally experiencing jaw discomfort or limitations when opening your mouth, you may have questions about what may be going on.

Here are answers to some of the most popular questions about TMJ pain.

What does “TMJ” stand for?

TMJ is an abbreviation for “temporomandibular joint.” That’s the hinge where your lower jaw attaches to the rest of your body. The TMJ is a complex joint that can move in different directions.

Do I have TMJ?

Everyone born with a jaw has a TMJ. However, many people use this abbreviation to describe a condition known as TMJ disorder, also known as TMD. A qualified TMJ dentist can accurately diagnose this jaw condition.

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?

TMJ disorder can cause a broad range of symptoms, including those that spread beyond your jaw:

  • Headache
  • Ear and/or eye pain
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Limited jaw opening
  • Clicking or popping noises when you move your jaw
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Pain while chewing
  • Neck or shoulder pain

What’s causing my TMJ pain?

A variety of things can trigger TMJ pain. Causes can range from stress, teeth grinding and mouth trauma to tooth alignment, underdeveloped jaws and more.

Will I need surgery on my TMJ?

Surgery is often a last resort, and one that most patients are not faced with. Treatment for TMJ almost always begins with conservative, non-invasive treatment. This may involve simple steps such as taking anti-inflammatories and avoiding gum chewing.

To learn more about TMJ treatment in Rocky Hill, please call West Hill Family Dental.