What Is TMJ?
TMJ disorder describes a variety of conditions affecting the temporomandibular joint (the point where the jaw opens and closes) and nerves related to chronic facial pain.
While these problems are now more easily diagnosed and treated than in the past, the exact cause of the disorder is unknown. We do know that women are twice as likely to be affected by TMJ disorders than men.
Some sources say TMJ is related to factors such as an improper bite, injury, arthritis, severe stress, or clenching or grinding teeth as part of a sleep disorder. Recent studies suggest that sleep breathing disorders such as sleep apnea, snoring, or Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome could play a role in TMJ problems.
Proper diagnosis is critical and Dr. Stern may recommend treatment after conducting a thorough health history, clinical exam, taking appropriate X-rays, and perhaps confirming the condition through other diagnostic tests.
Please talk to Dr. Stern if you experience any of the following symptoms:
Jaw pain or soreness, more noticeable in the morning or afternoon
Jaw pain while chewing, biting, or yawning
Earache without an infection, sometimes spreading into the face
A clicking or grinding noise while opening and closing your mouth
Difficulty opening and closing your mouth
A stiff jaw when eating, talking, or yawning
Sensitive teeth without any signs of dental problems
Aching of the side of the head or neck
“Locking” of jaw in an open or closed position