TMJ & Jaw Pain

Understanding TMJ or TMD Jaw Pain

TMJ PainDid you know that over 15% of adults are affected by TMJ jaw pain, otherwise known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorders? While we don’t always know what causes TMJ pain we in the dental community believe that some of the following symptoms can lead to TMJ issues.

  • Clenching or grinding of teeth
  • Arthritis in the jaw joints
  • Stress can actually be a cause as the stress can cause clinching and tightening of the jaw muscles. The mobility of the soft cushioning disc of the jaw joint

What are the Symptoms of TMJ or TMD?

TMJ causes some pain and at times even severe discomfort. This pain can last many years if untreated by your doctor. These symptoms of TMJ jaw pain typically arose for patients 40-40 years old. Common symptoms of TMJ pain include pain in your face around your joints, neck or shoulders. This pain usually increases when chewing or talking and opening your mouth wide. Sometimes TMJ problems can even lead to your jaw feeling like it is locked open or closed. Occasionally these symptoms can be as subtle as a tired feeling in your face as if you have been chewing gum for hours. TMJ issues and pain can also lead to swelling. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact us at Star Dental immediately for a consultation.

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How is TMJ or TMD Diagnosed by a Doctor?

Because many other disorders and dental issues can present similar symptoms getting an accurate diagnosis is of paramount importance. The dentist will start by asking a number of questions about your pain, lifestyle and history.

We will then perform a physical exam and look for tenderness in your joints while you perform certain movements. Also may take an OPG x-ray to evaluate your jaw further. Occasionally other tests such as a MIR will be done.

Typically these types of cases are handled by dental surgeons like Dr Rourke here at Star Dental Care of Port Macquarie. Schedule a consultation today and be on your way to less pain and a happier smile.

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