Temporomandibular Joint Problems
The joint between your upper and lower jaws, just in front of your ears is called temporomandibular joint. Cartilage separates the bone surfaces.
The jaw joint can occasionally cause problems, which your dentist can help diagnose and treat. Symptoms include:
- Clicking or grating noises when you move your jaw.
- Difficulty in opening and closing the mouth.
- Swelling and tenderness over the joint.
- Pain in the face, neck and chewing muscles.
- Headaches and migraines, especially first thing in the morning.
Clicking and grating noises are usually down to the cartilage jumping when you open your mouth. Jaw pain is the result of increased tension in the jaw muscles, usually caused by clenching or grinding in your sleep or during the day. Painkillers and sedatives can relief pain in the short term, also using relaxation and stress relieving techniques can help, wearing a soft bite raising appliance can help by stopping you from grinding your teeth whilst you are sleeping.
For some people, the use of acupuncture has given significant benefits. This involves placing thin needles into specific areas to relieve tension in the muscles. If you wish to explore the use of acupuncture, please book an appointment with Colin Tovey.