TMJ disorder refers to a medical condition affecting the temporomandibular joint. This is the name for the joints on both the left and right side that connect the jaw and the skull. TMJ disorder is the name given to the condition that occurs when any of these joints are not functioning in the way they are supposed to. Our doctors can help people in the Somerset County and Hunterdon County areas who are suffering from discomfort as a result of TMJ disorder. The result is a healthier, more comfortable jaw, which results in less pain and an overall higher quality of life.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
It’s very difficult, and sometimes nearly impossible, for even a trained medical professional to discover the exact cause of this disorder. The discomfort a person feels may be the result of arthritis, an injury to the jaw, or simply an inherited defect due to their genetics. Many people who experience one or more of these tend to clench their jaw or grind their teeth, which can lead to further discomfort and structural damage to both the jaw and mouth.
People who are afflicted by this disorder often ask what exactly is happening in the mouth to someone who is suffering from TMJ disorder? The temporomandibular joint works by combining a sliding motion with a hinge-like movement when it functions as it is intended to. The bones that connect with the joint have a layer of cartilage around them and are separated by a small disc helping to absorb the shock that comes from everyday activities, such as eating and drinking. TMJ disorder can happen when this disk becomes eroded or misaligned, thus no longer allowing it to do its job. The cartilage around the bones may also be damaged – this often occurs due to arthritis, which may have previously gone undetected.
Our doctors in Somerset County and Hunterdon County are highly experienced medical professionals and can perform an examination to determine if a person has TMJ disorder, as the diagnosis is the first step on the road to a successful treatment plan.
Many people suffering from this disorder may notice a clicking sound when they open and close their mouth or otherwise try and move their jaw. They may also feel an unexplained grinding sensation as well. If this is accompanied with an uncomfortable feeling or limited movement in the jaw, our doctors will provide an accurate diagnosis and then begin to discuss treatment options.
Some other common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- Discomfort around the ear
- Frequent jaw discomfort
- Difficulty chewing or drinking
- Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- An aching sensation in other parts of the face
If these symptoms persist and interfere with daily life or general comfort, our doctors in Somerset County and Hunterdon County can provide treatment options to reduce the discomfort and return mobility to the jaw.