The temporomandibular joint is a kind of hinge that forms a connection between the temporal bones in your skull and the jaw. This joint is what allows you to articulate your jaw vertically and horizontally for such common tasks as yawning, chewing and talking. When you start to have problems doing any of these things, it is crucial that you get in touch with the general dentist at our offices as soon as possible, as it could be symptomatic of temporomandibular joint disorder, otherwise known as TMD or TMJ.
Knowing the Causes
While you may not be having any significant issues at the moment, now is as good of a time as any to familiarize yourself with some TMJ causes in order to effectively prevent it. The most common among these are:
- Jaw injury or harm to other head and neck muscles because of trauma such as whiplash
- Movement of the disc or soft cushion between socket and ball of joint
- Stress-related tightening of the jaw and facial muscles
- Joint arthritis
Noticing the Symptoms
How are you to know the difference between the early stages of TMJ and just soreness that will dissipate? There are a few telltale signs that, if you observe them, should give you the reason to get in touch with us right away.
- Tenderness or pain in your face, jaw joint, shoulders and neck when you articulate your jaw
- Difficulty opening your mouth wide for yawning or eating
- Jaw locking in an open or closed position
- Painful or painless sounds of grating, clicking or popping in the jaw joint
- The side of your face begins to swell
- Tired facial sensation
Stay Ahead of the Curve
As with any other disease or disorder, TMJ in Aurora, CO, is easiest to treat when it is identified early. If you have noticed some of the above symptoms recently, contact us at the offices of Dr. Mark Braasch in Aurora at (720) 325-2460 today.