• The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)
is the joint that connects your mandible (lower jaw) to your skull. It allows your mouth to be opened or closed and enables you to speak and eat. TMJ Disorder or TMJD is a condition that results in inflammation of the jaw, causing you to experience pain in the jaws or in some cases, unable to open or close your mouth.

What causes TMJD?

The cause of TMJ disorder may differ between patients and stems from different. However, the common causes of TMJ disorder are usually:
  • Unstable occlusion
  • Chewing one side long time
  • Trauma to the joints, such as impact to your lower jaw or face.
  • Prolonged or heavy stresses from habitually clenching or grinding your teeth (often unknowingly while sleeping)
  • Arthritis (Inflammation) of your jaw joint

What are the symptoms of TMJD?

The symptoms of TMJ disorders vary from the causes to the severity of your condition. The common symptoms for TMJD include:
  • Pain in the jaw and surrounding muscles
  • Stiffness in the muscles of the jaw
  • Limited movement of the jaw
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Clicking or popping sounds from the TMJ site
  • Malocclusion, changes in the way the upper and lower teeth align due to shifts in the jaw

How is TMJD treated?

In most cases, the symptoms of TMJ disorders can be treated with self-care practices at home such as:
  • Eat soft foods, and avoid chewing gum and tough foods
  • Apply ice to reduce swelling
  • Reduce jaw movement
  • Use jaw-stretching exercises to help improve jaw movement

In rare cases, your dentist may recommend other procedures to treat your condition which may include:

  • Orthodontic treatment to align your teeth and improve your bite
  • Make dental occlusion stable
  • Full mouth restoration
  • Jaw Joint Arthrocentesis, which removes fluid and debris from the joint
  • Splint Therapy, which refers to a mouth guard or bite plate that helps relax the jaw muscle