Cranofacial Pain/TMJ in St. John's

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The temporomandibular joint is the jaw joint, commonly referred to as TMJ. It is the unique hinge and sliding joint connecting the lower jaw to the skull. There is an important intervening structure called a disc, which is made of special cartilage to allow smooth movements between the bony surfaces. It is the joint that allows your mouth to open and close or allows you to move your lower jaw side to side smoothly. It is located just in front of the ear on each side of your head and is attached to the muscles (referred to as muscles of mastication) that control your mouth’s movement. You can easily feel these joints just by placing your fingers directly in front of your ears and opening and closing your mouth.

When a person is experiencing pain in this joint or the surrounding muscles, cannot open or close the mouth comfortably, is having difficulty chewing, or suffering from temple headaches, they may have TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder is actually quite common and its symptoms include:

  • Grinding, grating, popping, or clicking sounds when opening and closing the mouth
  • Pain in the facial muscles, around the ears, or in the jaw joints
  • Increased headaches, ear pain, ringing in the ears, or pain in the ears.
  • Difficulty opening the mouth wide, or inability to close after yawning
  • Difficulty biting or chewing hard, chewy or crunchy foods
  • Changes in the bite or the position of the lower jaw

The causes of TMJ disorders could range from one or more factors and may be the result of one or more of the following causes:

  • Injury to the jaw or muscles in the neck or head
  • Arthritis
  • Excessive clenching or grinding of the teeth
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Jaw misalignment
  • Congenital defects

If you suffer any of the symptoms listed above, give us a call at 709 754 4895 or book an appointment with Dr. Chedella at Epic Dental in St. John's. Dr. Chedella can thoroughly assess your situation and outline a treatment plan based on the specific cause (or causes) of your TMJ disorder. We are also accepting new patients!

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