The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. You have one joint on each side of your jaw. TMJ disorders — a type of temporomandibular disorder or TMD — can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement.
The exact cause of a person’s TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine.
Your pain may be due to a combination of factors such as:
- jaw injury
Some people who have jaw pain also tend to clench or grind their teeth (bruxism). Many people habitually clench or grind their teeth and never develop TMJ disorders.
In most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders is temporary and can be relieved with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatments. If TMJ or Bruxism still exists a custom night guard will be made to alleviate symptoms.
We like to make lower arch night guards for patients, because we feel they are the easiest to wear comfort wise. Night guards can be worn over dental work such as veneers/crowns, bridges, and implants.
Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders may include:
- Pain or tenderness of your jaw
- Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
- Aching pain in and around your ear
- Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
- Aching facial pain
- Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth
TMJ disorders can also cause a clicking sound or grating sensation when you open your mouth or chew. If there’s no pain or limitation of movement associated with your jaw clicking, you probably don’t need treatment for a TMJ disorder.