Are you experiencing jaw pain, or hear a clicking sound when you open and close your mouth? This could be a result of TMJ syndrome!
TMJ, or Tempromandibular Joint, has been associated with extreme jaw pain, neck pain, and even headaches. There are many different factors that could be contributing to your TMJ condition. Some of which are:
- Misalignment or malocclusion
- Trauma to the jaw
- Teeth grinding or bruxism
- Stress or anxiety
- Arthritis and uneven teeth as a result of irregular chewing patterns
These factors all contribute to the chronic or acute pain that some of you know all too well. However, when the cause is stress, it can come from emotional or physical stress. When we talk about emotional stress, patients tend to grind and clench their teeth to relieve tension. This type of grinding or teeth clenching for extended periods of time can create enormous amounts of pressure on your TMJ and the supporting muscle, and ultimately lead to extreme joint pain.
The TMJ symptoms don’t readily show themselves until the pain is far too much to handle. Typically, the pain begins as a dull near the ear and at times, it can often be confused with an ear infection. As the stress continues to escalate, so does the jaw pain. This correlation must be understood and evaluated; otherwise patients could be misunderstanding their symptoms without treating the true source of their condition.
Many symptoms of TMJ syndrome can respond well to a dental splint (occlusal splint or stabilization splint or night guard), which is a dental appliance placed usually on your upper teeth that helps to keep the teeth in alignment, prevents tooth grinding and ultimately relaxes the facial muscles. Once the facial muscles are in a relaxed condition, the symptoms with improve.