April is the month of spring showers, spring cleaning, and……. quarantine. Life is certainly stressful enough right now in these unprecedented times. One thing that we know well at at our Niceville dental office is that aching feeling in your jaw and your head may be more than stress. It may actually be temporomandibular disorder, also known as TMJ disorder or TMD.
What Exactly is TMJ?
Technically speaking, your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the ones that connect your lower jawbone to your skull. If you touch just below your ear you’ll feel it moving as you speak, chew, and swallow. They’ve got a lot of work to do, and sometimes those joints can be thrown out of alignment by an uneven bite, an injury, or stress on the joint from the stress in your life making you clench your jaw. (sound familiar?)
Symptoms of TMJ
There are a ton of different symptoms of TMJ/TMD, but these are some of the most common ones that we see at our Georgetown dental office:
- Popping, clicking sounds in your jaw when you eat or talk
- Ringing in your ears or generally stuffy ears
- Frequent headaches and / or neck pain
- Muscle spasms in the jaw
And the most dreaded symptom of all…
- Occasional locking of the jaw or limited movement
Any of these symptoms are concerning and shouldn’t be ignored. It’s not just stress! Call our office to set up a consultation* to see if your feelings of discomfort, even minor ones, could be the beginnings of TMD. Something as simple as a dental nightguard could make a world of difference and prevent further damage to your teeth and jaw.
You don’t have to live with the pain and discomfort of TMJ/TMD. Give our office in Niceville a call to see what treatment may be right for you… and your smile.
*At the time of publishing, the ADA recommends that all preventive dental appointments and non-emergency consultations be postponed. Please check with your local regulations.