Everything You Need To Know About TMJ
So, what is TMJ anyway? Well, for starters, TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint – a joint in the jaw – and it’s a disorder that causes pain or discomfort. Although the exact cause of TMJ is unknown, it’s believed to be brought on by several factors, including stress, poor posture, teeth grinding, misalignment of the teeth, and even excessive gum chewing. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, there are approximately 10 million Americans living with TMJ. Also, TMJ is more common in women.
TMJ symptoms include facial pain, ear aches, tinnitus, headaches, neck and shoulder stiffness or soreness, swelling in the face, especially near the jawline, difficulty chewing food, and locking of the jaw after yawning.
Unfortunately, there isn’t one single test that’s used to detect TMJ, but your doctor may suggest that it’s time to finally go ahead and schedule that appointment with your dentist or an ear, nose and throat specialist. A MRI is sometimes used to pick up the disorder.