Temporomandibular joint disorder is a common condition affecting up to around 15% of the adult population. Often, TMD can heal on its own, but in rare cases the pain may last longer and require the attention of a medical professional.
If you’re experiencing pain or tenderness in the jaw, ears, head, neck, back or you’re having trouble chewing, this can be related to TMJ disorder and a dental sleep expert or dentist will be the best source for diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) allows us to open and close the mouth to chew, bite, speak, breathe, yawn, or make other similar movements. It performs three types of movement: up and down, forward, backward and side to side. Dental malocclusion (misalignment of teeth when the jaw closes), stress and bad habits such as clenching the teeth or can alter the function of the temporomandibular joint. This syndrome can cause pain in the jaw, ears, head, neck, back, plus trouble chewing.
TMJ treatment is aimed at addressing the causes that have caused the disorder and improve symptoms and may include physical therapy, exercise, medication, relaxation techniques, mouth guards and surgery, although this is rare.