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Orthodontist • Grass Valley, CA

Orthodontics Blog

TMJ: What Is It? What Causes It?

So what exactly is TMJ?  Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, also referred to as TMJ or TMD is a set of conditions that cause pain in an area of the jaw and may cause problems within the jaw that can affect one’s ability to eat, chew, and even speak.

According to reports put out by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, “Approximately 35 million people in the United States suffer from TMJ Problems.”

Are There Certain Causes of TMJ?

Usually more prevalent among adults, TMJ can also occur in young adults.TMJ is found to cause pain and discomfort in individuals that may suffer from bite problems.

There are many factors that can attribute to TMJ, such as:

  • Stress
  • Teeth grinding
  • Malocclusion or trauma
  • Excessive gum chewing
  • Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
  • Swelling on the sides of the face
  • Muscle spasms along jaw area
  • Locked jaw and limited opening in the mouth
  • Poor posture

If you think you might be suffering from TMJ, it’s a good idea to schedule a visit with your dentist, who can then perform a physical exam to diagnosis you.

Your exam may include:

  • Your dental provider listening and feeling your jaw when you open and close your mouth.
  • Observation of the jaws range of motion
  • And he or she applying gentle pressure to the areas around your jaw in order to identify where the pain and discomfort may be coming from.

Treatments will vary from provider to provider as there are many forms of treatment that can aid in the treatment of TMJ.

If your dentist concludes that your TMJ is due to a bite problem, Invisalign™  may correct the misalignment of your bite and relieve pain and discomfort. Especially if you suffer from “deep bites” or “edge to edge” bites. These can be very traumatic to the TMJ muscles and cause tremendous pain or spasms.

Here is an Invisalign™ success story from one of our very own patients!

There is Help!

Knowing there is a simple solution like Invisalign™ that can relieve the pain and discomfort of your TMJ is the first step to getting back that great smile!  Call us today for more information on how Invisalign™ may be the solution for you!

 For a beautiful smile!

Cater Galante Orthodontic Specialists

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