©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
TMJ can cause painful headaches
along with aching in the face,
neck, and shoulders.
The American Dental Association estimates
that as many as ten million Americans may have what's known in dental circles as TMJ Disorder, or Dysfunction (TMJD), or TMJ Syndrome (TMJS). Unfortunately, it's a condition that often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and untreated.
Five pairs of muscles and the temporomandibular joints that connect the upper and lower jaws allow you to open and close your mouth and control the forward, backward, and side-to-side movements of the lower jaw. Any problem that prevents this complex system of muscles, ligaments, bones, and joints from working together may result in the pain and other problems known as TMJD.
The jaw joints can become misaligned from a variety of causes -- teeth that don't fit together properly due to genetics, orthodontia, or grinding (bruxism); habits such as cradling the phone between the ear and shoulder; or injuries such as whiplash or a blow to the jaw. Stress plays a major role, too, and people often experience their first TMJ discomfort during stressful times.
Not everyone who has misaligned jaw joints experiences severe symptoms. In some cases, conservative home care can alleviate pain and discomfort. In others, professional help is important.
The next page is filled with home remedies for coping with your TMJ problem. If the conservative treatments described in this article don't give you relief, seek help from a dentist, preferably one who is a TMJ specialist.
For more information about TMJ and how to combat it, try the following links:
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.