Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) (2/98)
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome occurs when the ligaments, muscles, and joints of the jaw move out of alignment. Symptoms can include pain when opening and closing your mouth, pain in the jaw area that spreads to your face or neck and shoulders, headaches, earaches or ringing in the ears, inability to open your mouth completely, and "clicking" or "popping" sounds when you chew. Because these symptoms are common to other disorders, the problem is often misdiagnosed. TMJ has a number of possible causes:
Treatment... TMJ may or may not require professional treatment. Many dentists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ. They may prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine, tranquilizers, or muscle relaxants for a short period. They may also recommend braces to correct your bite or a bite plate to wear while sleeping. In extreme cases, surgery may be required.
If you have TMJ, you may be able to minimize symptoms in the following ways:
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