TMJ is the abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint, which is the connector between the lower jaw to the skull. This is the joint that enables you to open and close your mouth, so it’s used almost constantly for speaking and eating. Some people have conditions involving the TMJ, and they have difficulty opening and closing their mouth. This is often accompanied by pain.
Many patients wonder if their TMJ problems are a result of their orthodontic treatment, and the overwhelming body of evidence does not link the two. The primary reason for this is because there is no one cause for TMJ disorders, so the role of the bite—which is often addressed during orthodontic treatment—is still under debate.
At our Bayside, VIC clinic, we welcome patients with TMJ disorders, and we will work with you to find out the cause—and to help figure out a solution that will alleviate your pain and discomfort.
What Are Some of the Causes of TMJ Disorders?
Some possible causes of this disorder include:
- Physical injury or trauma
- Grinding or clenching the teeth, especially while sleeping
- Arthritis in the joint
- Environmental reasons or habits that put pressure on the jaw (such as a musician who holds a violin under the chin)
Women are more prone to TMJ disorders than men, which has led to more research on hormonal causes of the TMJ.
What Can We Do About TMJ Disorders?
If you are experiencing TMJ pain, there are a number of options for treatment. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories can be helpful. Counselling might also help to determine whether you are practising behaviours that are causing the pain.
Your dentist might also provide a mouthguard if you are grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep.
At Our Bayside, VIC clinic, we can work with you to figure out why you are experiencing TMJ pain and help you come up with a solution.