Signs You May Have TMJ
TMJ is a common disorder that affects the alignment of the jaw and the cushioned disc that rests between it. It can be caused by a head injury, arthritis, or genetics. TMJ is short for "temporomandibular joint," which is the area that is affected by misalignment. Dr. Ralph Mazzuca, your dentist in Washington DC, diagnoses and treats many patients with TMJ; read below to learn of the common symptoms and give Dr. Mazzuca a call if you are at all concerned!
An aching jaw that is tender to the touch is a common sign of TMJ. The pain, typically caused by inflammation, doesn't necessarily have to come directly from your jaw—it may radiate to your head, neck, shoulders, or ears. Although TMJ pain can often be relieved temporarily with analgesic medication, your Washington DC dentist's goal is to help you manage your TMJ diagnosis long-term.
Noises and Pops
It can be disconcerting to feel and hear your jaw align itself back into place. For TMJ sufferers, this is a common occurrence when they chew, talk, or yawn. Our Washington DC patients describe the feeling as creaking, shifting, or grinding; sometimes a popping or clicking sound accompanies it. Any noise or sensation in your jaw joint that persists over a few days warrants a visit to Dr. Mazzuca for an examination.
Along with the pain and uncomfortable sensations associated with TMJ, your jaw may also not work as efficiently as it should. Chewing and talking can be a challenge, and opening your mouth all the way to yawn, brush your teeth, or take a bite of food may be impossible. For some unlucky TMJ sufferers, their condition may be so severe that the jaw gets stuck in an open or closed position.
Think you might be dealing with TMJ? It's time to contact Dr. Ralph Mazzuca, your dentist in Washington DC to schedule an evaluation: (202) 537-1088.