The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint in front of the ear that helps support the lower jaw. Often times pain in the joints are caused by a multitude of factors.
What causes TMJ problems?
- Grinding or clenching the teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the joint
- Dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket
- Presence of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the joint
- Stress, which can cause a person to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth
Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw. These disorders are often incorrectly called TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint.
Pain and soreness following the distribution of the Temporalis muscle can cause pain extending into the head.
Pain and soreness may also be present in the distribution of the Massiter muscle.
A Night Guard may be one possible solution for helping elevate TMJ pain associated with clenching, grinding, and TMD.