If you wake up most mornings with pain in your jaw, or if your jaw makes a clicking sound when you chew, you may be suffering from “TMJ Syndrome.” TMJ stands for Temporomandibular joint disorder and means that the joint that connects your jaw to the rest of your skull is inflamed.
There are a variety of causes, from stress to excessive gum chewing. For a proper diagnosis, your dentist looks for the following symptoms:
- Pain in the neck, base of the ears and the lower back of the head
- Wear of the teeth (especially if no other symptoms of misalignment are present)
- Difficulty opening the jaw completely
- Popping or grinding sounds when opening the mouth widely
For general treatment, you will be fitted with a special guard that will prevent your teeth from being damaged and keep your jaw from clenching while you sleep, and putting an end to jaw pain.