TMJ Syndrome

What is TMJ syndrome?
Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) or temporomandibular disorder (TMD) are different terms for a group of symptoms that may include pain in the jaw muscles, jaw joints, headache, earache, limited jawmovement, swelling, and a clicking or grating sound when moving the jaw.

What causes TMJ syndrome?
One or more factors can cause these jaw problems. These factors include excess tension in the jaw muscles, misalignment between the upper and lower teeth and jaws, disturbed movement of the jaw joint, displacement or abnormal position of the jaw joint or cartilage inside the jaw joint, inflammation of the joint, excess or limited motion of the joint, injury to the jaw or face, and developmental abnormalities. Risk factors include clenching or grinding of teeth and stress.

What are the symptoms of TMJ syndrome?
Some of the most common symptoms TMJ syndrome include: headaches, sore jaw muscles, sore jaw joints, pain around the ear, clicking, popping, or grating noises in the joints when chewing or talking, swelling on the affected side of the face, pain when biting into firm and crunchy foods, limited movement or locking of the jaw, or a feeling that your bite is changing or off.

How is TMJ syndrome diagnosed?
TMJ syndrome is diagnosed by reviewing symptoms, evaluating jaw muscles, jaw joints, range of jaw motion, teeth, and the bite. Other tests may include x-rays and other methods of imaging the jaw structures.

How can TMJ syndrome be treated?
Common treatment steps include pain relief, stress reduction, and dental procedures such as bite guard therapy and bite correction to relax jaw muscles. If you feel you might be suffering from TMJ syndrome it is best to consult with Dr. Lockwood on both the correct diagnosis and method of treatment for you. Dr. Lockwood will perform a thorough history and examination in order to build the proper series of steps to help manage your symptoms. Often a special bite guard is very helpful in reducing jaw muscle soreness. Dr. Lockwood has extensive training in the use of bite guards.

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Grand Rapids, MI 49525