What Causes TMJ and TMD?
Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) also known as TMJ occurs when the jaw joint has become inflamed or is not functioning correctly.
If you are experiencing pain around the jaw or facial muscles that control the jaw, you may have TMJ. The cause of this condition is still unknown but may be traced to bruxism (teeth grinding), osteoarthritis or trauma to the mouth and jaw.
Learn more about undergoing treatment for TMJ in Asheville, NC, by scheduling your appointment with Dr. Peter Pang.
Teeth Grinding and TMJ
Many people who have a bad habit of grinding or clenching their teeth during stressful periods or while sleeping develop TMJ. Teeth grinding, otherwise known as bruxism, can wear down the teeth and cause misalignment. Dr. Peter Pang may recommend techniques to break the habit of teeth grinding and restore the health of your smile with a bite adjustment and tooth restoration procedures.
Common Symptoms of TMJ
If you experience tenderness or pain around the jaw, have frequent headaches or neck aches or find that your jaw gets stuck in position from time to time, you may have TMJ.
Chronic symptoms include clicking or grating sounds when opening and closing the mouth, upper shoulder and neck pain and limited ability to open the mouth wide. You may find it difficult to chew hard foods or speak clearly when the pain becomes unusually severe.
In some cases, reducing inflammation in the jaw with rest and relaxation exercises or by taking anti-inflammatories can alleviate some of the pain.
When lifestyle changes fail to improve the situation, Dr. Pang may recommend wearing a night guard or oral device to prevent bruxism and teeth grinding at night.
Cortisone shots are another option for relieving pain and inflammation around the jaw joint. We may explore jaw surgery in severe cases where we would replace the jaw joint with an implant to restore proper functioning of the entire jaw.