A PAIN IN THE JAW? IT COULD BE TMJ

When you hear people say they suffer from a ‘TMJ problem’ they are referring to their temporomandibular joint(TMJ). Problems with this joint are commonly referred to as a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. The TMJ links the lower jaw, the mandible, to the temporal bone which is the bone at each side of the head. The joints are flexible, so that the jaw can move up and down and side to side, which allows you to talk, yawn and chew. Muscles which are attached to the jaw joint and surround it control its movement and position.

The pain suffered with a TMD is sometimes caused by the misalignment of the bite. The TMJ is then subject to friction which causes pain. Some of the symptoms can be alleviated by not opening the jaw too wide and avoiding food that requires a lot of chewing such as chewing gum. Other causes are an injury, arthritis and previous face surgery.

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