Have you ever heard someone complain that they have “TMJ?” Could you possibly have it? Here’s what you should know about the condition commonly referred to as TMJ.
What Is Your TMJ?
“TMJ” is an abbreviation that refers to the temporomandibular joint. This joint is found where your jaw attaches to your skull. There are two of these joints and you can feel them by opening and closing your jaw while pressing your fingers against either side of your head just in front of your ears.
Your TMJ is simply a normal part of your anatomy. So, what does it mean when people talking about “having” TMJ like it’s a painful condition?
The TMJ is filled with ligaments and soft tissues that can become strained with use over time. The resulting swelling causes pain and limited jaw movement. This condition is called temporomandibular joint disorder or “TMD” (and even “TMJD”) for short. Sometimes it’s called “TMJ disorder.”
When you hear someone talk about “having TMJ,” they’re not just announcing that they have a joint that you don’t. They mean that they’re suffering from pain and inflammation in their TMJ. A dentist, however, will call it “TMD.”
Do You Have TMD?
Almost everyone suffers from jaw pain at some point in their lives. Your TMJ works hard all day every day, so you may feel some discomfort after a big yawn or after several hours of chewing gum.
TMD is usually connected to other serious issues such as arthritis, a teeth-clenching habit, or even a poorly-aligned bite.
If you suffer from jaw pain on a regular basis or have limited jaw opening, then you should contact your dentist for a TMJ assessment.
Posted on behalf of:
Feather Touch Dental Care
1175 Peachtree St. NW Ste 1204
Atlanta, GA 30361
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