There is a vital muscle which connects your lower jaw with the temporal bone of your skull. The temporomandibular or TMJ coordinates the way your jaw moves, very important when you are eating and talking. It also contains crucial nerves which come from the brain into the jaw. Unfortunately a disorder can develop in it which is extremely painful and might have detrimental effects on the way your mouth can move.
A TMJ disorder might manifest itself with pain when you yawn and difficulty eating and talking. If it is particularly bad your jaw might be in pain even when you are not moving it at all. If left to progress, the nerves which will be affected can cause you to feel pain in your neck and shoulders as well. You might even find that you suffer from spasms in your muscles or tinnitus, ringing noises in your ears.
Because it is connected with your mouth, your dentist will be trained in diagnosing TMJ disorders. They can give you a ‘clench’ test, where you will bite down and the dentist will analyse where you feel pain as a result. Your dentist might take a mould of your teeth or a digital x-ray to determine of the problem lies with the alignment of your teeth.
Thankfully most TMJ disorders can be solved with dental procedures and it is rather rare for sufferers to have to undergo surgery. You might simply need to wear a mouth guard to stop nocturnal teeth grinding or wear a brace to correct alignment issues. But it is always worth taking seriously because the long term effects of untreated TMJ disorders can be serious.
Make an appointment today with your Kingston-Upon-Thames dentist if you are worried about TMJ disorders. It is alwaysbetter to be safe than sorry