TMJ disorder is a general term used to note an issue with the temporomandibular joints that hinge your jaw. The joints are rather sophisticated in that they are ball and socket joints that also serve as a hinge. They work in concert with multiple muscles and ligaments around the jaw. A small disc of cartilage inside the joint allows a minimal amount of slip to allow you to grind the foods you eat.
Since the joints are so complicated, there several different things that could cause pain, discomfort, inflammation or a general ache in the local muscles.
Dr. Carl McMillan offers a few early symptoms of TJM disorder that you should look out for.
Many people who develop TMJ disorder complain of an ache near their temples or just in front of their ears. This is often due to chronic muscle tension resulting from clenching the jaw frequently or grinding your teeth.
A pain in the joint when you bite down is also a common symptom. This can often be related to inflammation that has built up in the joint, or the early onset of arthritis.
On its own clicking in one or both temporomandibular joints when you chew is not always a symptom of TMJ disorder. However, many cases of TMJ disorder that result from a previous jaw dislocation or early onset of arthritis will often experience this.
If you are concerned that you might be developing TMJ disorder, you should call Dr. Carl McMillan’s office in American Fork, Utah at 801-756-0900 to schedule an appointment.