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An acronym for Temporormandibular Joint Disorder, TMJ is a problem with the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull. It may be activated or exacerbated by excessive clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth. Without treatment, the disorder causes pain in the joint of the jaw and fatigue to the muscles, causing soreness and impeded movement.

It is hard to say which specific factors cause the initial problems of TMJ in every person with the disorder. There are a multitude of potential factors, such as arthritis, injury to the jaw, and even a genetic predisposition. An accompanying element to TMJ is that the patient generally tends to clench and/or grind their teeth. In some cases, the patient doesn’t even realize it is happening. They may only become aware after being interviewed by their dentist as she plays detective. They may come to the conclusion that a patients teeth have been wearing away the enamel at a higher rate than is typical, which may clue her in. There may even be damage in teeth, cracks or chips, that are symptoms of the disorder. To know what to look for we have made the following list:

TMJ: What to Look Out For

-Hearing a popping sound when chewing
-Problems chewing normally
-Pain or tenderness in the Jaw
-Pain in the joint where the jaw connects to the skull
-Ear ache or pain around the ear.
-Grinding and clenching of the teeth and jaw
-Jaw locking if the joint making it difficult to open or close the mouth
-Muscle soreness in the jaw

If you need an evaluation for TMJ, Dr. Janice Weinman would be happy to help you. Please contact Seguin Smiles to make an appointment at: 830-372-2949, or come by our office in Seguin, Texas.