What is TMJ or TMD?
So, just what is TMJ? TMJ or TMD is an acronym for temporomandibular joint
disorder or basically it's the jaw joint. It's a mouthful hence the common usage of the term "TMJ." It is, however,
sometimes referred to as TMD but the term TMJ is more popular.
With the jaw, these are the small joints in front of each ear that attach the lower jaw to the human skull. The cartilaginous disc that
is between the bones of the jaw
Believe it or not, these happen to be the most complex joints in the entire body.
TMJ is a term used to describe a group of symptoms that include chipped or broken teeth, worn teeth, clicking and/or popping in the jaw
when the mouth is opened and closed, facial pain, jaw pain, numbness or tingling in the arm (not too common), and limited jaw movement.
Moreover, with many of those who suffer from TMJ. they report constant pain not only in the jaw and face, but also with the neck, shoulders
and the teeth as well.
Some other associated symptoms are grinding of teeth (bruxism), frequent ear infections, snoring, and even restricted airways. These group of symptoms are referred to as MPD (myofascial pain dysfunction) and craniomandibular dysfunction.
Needless to say, the area of the human face and the temporomandibular joint is an intricate network of bones, muscles, nerves, and teeth.
Who Suffers From TMJ?
It can be anyone, i.e., those with an already aesthetic bite, men, women, young people, etc. In fact, children seem to have an increased
sensitivity to TMJ as they chew a lot of gum, suck and chew a lot, leaning their head on their arm, etc.
So, don't think it only happens to those with an overbite or an underbite. It can also happen to those who suffer some kind of trauma like a
car accident or being hit in the face or jaw, for example.
It's very common.
What Causes TMJ?
No "what is TMJ" article would be complete without some discussion about just what causes the TMJ disorder. In most cases, TMJ symptoms stem
from what's called malocclusion, which means having a “bad bite” or accidents and trauma. Trauma is a common reason as to the existence of
TMJ as most people have a proper bit pattern.
Malocclusion means that your teeth, both upper and lower palates, don't close propoerly together. In other words, they are misaligned.
This can include underbites and overbites mind you.
When the teeth are misaligned, or the jaw, it can't provide the support the jaw muscles and the facial need for proper chewing.
The consequence is that the muscles are forced into a strained position, which results in the TMJ symptoms discussed earlier.
Can TMJ Be Treated?
Yes, absolutely it can be treated. There are many things you can do, actually. First, see a dentist either a neuromuscular or
TMJ specialist dentist. When you see the dentist and it is rightly diagnosed, the dentist will measure your normal jaw positioning.
Once the jaw positioning is properly determined, the dentist will realign the bite so as to restore the jaw and joints to their normal
position. Once the normal bite is realigned to its proper place and the jaw is in place, TMJ pain and symptoms will disappear.
One of the things you can do to help facilitate this ia a TMJ mouth guard -- a mouth guard that is specifically designed to correct TMJ
problems. It may help significantly. That is one of the options here.
Mind you this is NOT a mouthguard like athletes use. It is a dental night guard, a guard designed to facilitate the elimination of TMJ-related
If bruxism or teeth grinding, which is the unconscious grinding of the teeth during the night, is one of your symptoms, a TMJ night guard is
indispensible as it can eradicate that issue -- or at the very least mitigate the damage it causes.
TMJ-related jaw exercises also greatly help resolve TMJ issues. Don't underestimate the power of these exercises. They are designed by
neuromuscular or TMJ specialist dentists. Use them.
Stress relief is another key component of resolving TMJ. Yes, stress. It may be a component of the underlying problem of TMJ.
Some basic things you can do to prevent TMJ and mitigate it if you do is to eat soft food. Also, don't chew tough foods like meat or carrots.
Avoid chewing gum as well.
TMJ Mouth Guard -- 150%, 6-Month Satisfaction Guarantee
I highly recommend a good mouth guard. A mouth guard is inexpensive and can help in mitigating jaw pain and with TMJ. As a dentist, I knew I
had to be as informed as possible on the abundance of mouth guards on the market.
Consequently, I personally researched every mouth guard on this mouth guard review web page.
If you opt for a mouth guard to resolve your teeth grinding issue, I give a 110% Guarantee on one particular product -- the RCM Double arch -- thus certifying it will reduce
your jaw popping and clicking and jaw locking.
If you are considering a mouthguard for grinding teeth or for a TMJ issue, I give a 150% guarantee -- yes you read that right -- on my recommended SmartGuard
My mouthguard was specifically designed by me to relieve the "how to stop teeth grinding in sleep" issue, but it has use for those with a TMJ
problem as well.
Therefore, for an honest, non-biased mouth guard review of the most popular mouth guards from me -- a TMJ dentist with over 18 years
experience -- please go now to check out my review page at this page on dental night guard products.
(You'll see legitimate testimonials there as well, which are basically the ones on this site.)
To Read a Free, non-biased review by a dentist on the most popular night or mouthguards on the market today, please click
I hope this what is TMJ webpage has been helpful for you.
Yours in health,
David Spainhower, D.D.S.