What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint, commonly called the TMJ or jaw joint, is the joint that connects the mandible (lower jaw) to the rest of the head. The TMJ is located on either side of the head, just below the ears. When this joint becomes misaligned, stressed, or damaged in any way, it may result in significant pain and discomfort that may even disrupt your everyday life. This is referred to as TMJ disorder (TMD).

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

TMJ disorder is often characterized by:

  • Chronic pain in the jaw
  • Inability to open your mouth wide
  • Painful or difficult chewing and eating
  • A stuck or locked jaw
  • Pain in the face, ears, neck, or shoulders
  • Frequent headaches or migraines
  • A clicking, grinding, or popping sound in the jaw joint when opening and closing the mouth
  • Ringing in the ears

If you notice these symptoms, we encourage you to contact Dr. Alberto A. Herrero to learn about treatment for the TMJ in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

How do you treat TMJ?

The treatment for TMD depends on the cause and the symptoms. TMJ disorders may be caused by varying factors, such as arthritis in the jaw joint, misalignment in the joint, bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching), stress, or trauma to the head, jaw, neck, or shoulders. Based on your needs, treatment may include dental treatment, a custom-made mouth guard or night guard (to correct the alignment of the jaw or to prevent teeth grinding), or facial muscle relaxation exercises. To learn more and to set up your next visit with our dentist, we invite you to contact our dental practice today.