Like most parts of your body, you don't appreciate the work your jaw joint does until it isn't working properly. This can result in painful symptoms like toothaches, headaches, clicking or popping sounds when the joint moves, or pain when you open and close your jaw.
Called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), your jaw joint is a hinge that allows you to move your lower jaw to speak, chew, and express emotion. You can find it by placing your fingers in front of your ears and moving your jaw up and down.
Common TMJ Problems
There are several reasons why your TMJ might be acting up:
Teeth grinding (bruxism) – Grinding your teeth occasionally during moments of stress is common, but many people clench or grind at night without being aware of it. This puts excess unnatural force on your jaw and can lead to painful symptoms.
TMJ disorders – You have a jaw joint (TMJ), and when there's a problem with it, we call it TMD. Doctors don't know precisely what causes TMD, but yours will probably evaluate the movement of the joint.
Bite problems – Your bite is the way your upper and lower teeth meet when you close your mouth. A proper bite lines up all upper and lower teeth, but in some cases, only a few teeth line up. This can put more force on one side than the other, which results in painful symptoms.
TMJ Treatment in Medina, OH
Fortunately, TMJ treatment is usually straightforward. Dr. Christopher Sinick will use x-rays and a visual exam to identify the problem. In many cases, providing relief is as easy as prescribing a customized mouth guard, or night guard.
When you wear the night guard during sleep, your upper and lower jaw can't meet. This takes the stress off the TMJ because you can't grind or clench.
If you suspect there's a problem with your jaw joint or you're just experiencing pain and don't know why, please call Sinick Family Dental. We'll find the source of the problem and work with you to find a solution and provide relief.