Indoor headshot of young man feeling pain, holding his cheek with hand, suffering from bad toothache, looking at camera with painful expression. Tooth ache concept.

What Is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint, commonly referred to as the TMJ, is a joint connecting the lower jaw with the upper jaw. The TMJ is responsible for helping you open and close your mouth to breathe and eat.

Like just about every other join in the body, the TMJ can experience pain, swelling, soreness and discomfort due to a variety of causes. TMJ pain can often be an indicator of TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder. TMD can vary in severity, requiring different treatment options depending on the individual case.

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What Is TMD And How Is It Treated?

TMD is marked by pain in at least one of your jaw joints, along with stiffness, earaches, and pain throughout the face and neck. TMD can be caused by jaw injuries, unaligned teeth or jaws and grinding of the teeth. It is diagnosed by dentists who often use X-rays or scans to get a clear look at your TMJ.

Treatment for TMD or TMJ, which are often used interchangeably, can range from lifestyle changes and over-the-counter pain relievers to dental procedures and even surgery. Surgery is often only turned to correct structural joint issues that are causing TMJ pain.

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What To Do If You Think You Might Have TMD

If you’re experiencing TMJ discomfort and think it may be a result of TMD, the first thing to do is schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will be able to evaluate your symptoms and determine if you are suffering from TMD.

If you are suffering from TMD, your dentist will explore treatment options with you to find a way to alleviate the jaw pain you are experiencing. If you’re in need of an appointment, Cirocco Dental Center is now accepting new patients.

We look forward to meeting you and finding a way to alleviate your jaw pain and bring a smile back to your face!

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