Temporomandibular Joint Disorder – Possible Causes and Symptoms

Azadeh Khajavi’s dental practice encompasses several areas in addition to general dentistry. A distinguished fellow of the Academy of Dentistry, Azadeh Khajavi performs neuromuscular, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. She also treats patients for temporomandibular joint disorders.

Located in front of the ear, a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) attaches the lower jawbone to the base of the skull on each side. They include cartilage and a disc to permit hinge-like and sliding motions. The causes of TMJ disorders are not clear for every patient; they may include erosion of the disc or movement outside of its proper location. Arthritis in the cartilage and blows to the joint can also trigger it. TMJ disorders are most prevalent in women from 20 to 40 years old, but it is not limited to those ages.

Symptoms may consist of pain or tenderness in the jaw or an aching in the ear. It may be uncomfortable or hard to chew. Locking of the joint may make it difficult to open the mouth. Facial pain is another possible indicator. In addition, a grating sensation or a clicking sound when the mouth opens may be a sign of TMJ syndrome, unless there is no pain or restriction of motion.

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