There are temporomandibular joints that hinge the jaw to your skull and allow you to open your mouth, eat your food, talk, and create facial expressions. Cushioned by a small cartilage disk, the ball and socket allow slip in the joint so you can chew and grind the food you eat. For those who grind their teeth while sleeping, the tension caused can put a great deal of pressure on these disks, leading to arthritis, abnormal muscle tension, and pain.
You may be experiencing the early symptoms of TMJ disorder if you have the following:
- Pain when you open your mouth.
- Pain when you bite down with force.
- Early morning soreness in the jaw.
- An ongoing dull ache near the ears or temple.
Many people who develop the TMJ disorder complain of an ache near their temples or just in front of their ears. This is often due to chronic muscle tension resulting from clenching the jaw frequently or grinding your teeth.
Another common symptom is a pain in the joint when you bite down or chew your food. This can often be related to inflammation that has built up in the joint or the early onset of arthritis.
If you continually grind your teeth at night this can cause an ache in the joints from inflammation. In time, it can also lead to soreness in the surrounding joints and ligaments. If your TMJ problem is caused by teeth grinding, our dentists may recommend a night guard as treatment. A night guard is a custom-made mouth guard that fits over your teeth and prevents them from grinding and clenching together while sleeping.
If you are experiencing symptoms of TMJ disorder in Frederick, Maryland, we can help! Please call 301.663.9484 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dentists, Dr. Peter Cha & Danny H. Dinh. We look forward to helping you restore your pain-free smile!