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TMJ Treatment

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

TJDs can cause:

  • Muscle spasms around the jaw, headache or earache
  • Pain in the joint area or nearby. The pain is usually located just in front of the ear, and it may spread to the cheek, the ear itself, and to the temple.
  • Jaw movements may be reduced. This may be a general tight feeling or a sensation of the jaw getting stuck. Very rarely, the jaw may get 'locked', causing difficulty in opening or closing the mouth.
  • Clicks or noises can sometimes be heard coming from the jaw joint when you chew or move your mouth. These noises can be normal, so they are only relevant if you have other symptoms in the joint, such as pain or reduced movement.
  • Because the ear is very close to the jaw joint, some people get ear symptoms such as noise in the ear, sensitivity to sound or dizziness (vertigo).

What are the causes of TMJ?

The main causes of TJD are:

  • clenching your jaw or grinding your teethduring sleep, which overworks the jaw muscles and puts pressure on the joint (often caused by stress)
  • wear and tear of the inside of the jaw joint, usually caused by osteoarthritis 
  • a disease causing inflammation of the jaw joint, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout
  • injury to the jaw joint, for example after a blow to the face or surgery

Treatment for TMJ

Mouth guards / Splints

Mouth guards (plastic mouthpieces that fit over your teeth) may be helpful if you grind your teeth. These cover the teeth at night to reduce jaw clenching and teeth grinding, and can be made to measure by your dentist.