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If you think you may have TMJ disorder, you are not alone. Over 10 million people in the U.S. alone are diagnosed. The majority of those diagnosed and treated are women, but many men also have it and can certainly seek treatment for it if they choose.

Symptoms of a TMJ disorder include pain or tenderness in the jaw, aching pain around the ear, difficulty chewing, facial pain, and the locking of the jaw, which makes it hard to open or close the mouth. You may hear a clicking when you open and close your mouth, but if there is no pain associated with that, you probably don’t need treatment.

The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, controls the motion of your jaw. It is covered in cartilage and each joint is separated by a small shock-absorbing disk which helps keep the movement smooth and comfortable. TMJ disorder can be the result of the disk eroding or moving out of alignment. It can also be caused by damage due to arthritis, a blow or some kind of forceful impact. Stress, bruxism, leaning on the chin or biting your nails may all be contributing factors. Sometimes the reasons aren’t necessarily clear.

Sometimes TMJ will go away without treatment. However, if your symptoms continue, Dr. Jenny Hawkins may recommend a variety of options such as medication, mouth guards, physical therapy to strengthen the jaw muscles, and even counseling if the cause is stress related.

If you are experiencing jaw pain and would like treatment, you can call 281-488-4242 to visit Pax Dental in Lexington Park, Maryland. Our team will be happy to help restore your smile today!