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Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology

TMJ Syndrome

Sixty million American have it. It's more common in the elderly, and affects men and women equally. Its exact cause is unknown, but women are nine times more likely than men to seek treatment for this malady. The lower jaw (mandible) is attached to the skull by a joint on each side of the face, called the temporomandibular joint.

We refer to it as the TMJ. Any number of problems associated with the chewing muscles, ligaments, bones or the joints can prevent the TMJ from functioning properly; hence, the term TMJ Syndrome. There are many signs and symptoms of TMJ syndrome, not all necessarily present in all cases. The following symptoms are some of the most common:

  1. Headaches;
  2. Tenderness of the jaw muscles;
  3. Pain in or around the ear, that often spreads to the face;
  4. Clicking, popping or grating sounds when opening or closing the mouth;
  5. Pain or difficulty in chewing, yawning or opening wide;
  6. Jaws that "get stuck" or "lock"

Because every patient is different, treatment also varies from patient to patient.

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