The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a joint on either side of your jaw that connects your jawbone to your skull and acts as a sliding hinge. If one side is out of sync with the other it can lead to TMJ damage and painful side effects like
Sore joints and muscles and migraine headaches
Clicks or crunching sounds when you move your jaw
Stiffness and/or tenderness of joints
Ear pain with or without tinnitus, headaches and back pain (especially in the morning)
In the long term, if TMJ issues are not addressed you could experience the following:
In cases where back teeth are missing, the front teeth can undergo accelerated wear resulting in an unstable bite
However, one of the most common causes of migraines headaches are TMJ issues caused by grinding your teeth, particularly when you are sleeping.
If you find that you’re having unexplained headaches or jaw pain/problems a TMJ disorder could be the source of the problem. If so, wearing a custom-made plastic mouth guard while you sleep can offer effective relief and even head off potentially more serious problems late on.
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Most TMJ disorders occur when the two sides of your temporomandibular joint are out of sync when they should be moving together. This desynchronisation is usually caused by grinding and/or clenching your teeth and over time can cause damage.
Everyone is different and symptoms can vary but some of the more common indicators of TMJ issues are headaches, grinding of teeth (bruxism), pain in and around the eye, popping or clicking of the jaw and ringing in the ears. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms please let your dentist know immediately.