Are you suffering from soreness in your jaw? Be aware that there are a variety of reasons that you might feel pain in this area. One is known as the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). Simple activities such as eating and speaking can end up feeling painful. However, it is not a problem that you need to live with forever.

How Common Are TMJ Problems?

It is hard to say how common TJM problems are, because TMJ often goes undiagnosed with patients. Current estimates put the total people affected with TMJ around ten million. If you want an official diagnosis, it would be a good idea to visit your dentist. They can take a look at your jaw, listen to your symptoms, and officially diagnose you with the condition.

What Are The Signs Of TMJ?

Rather than just look for jaw pain, it is important to know what specific TMJ symptoms are. Soreness is the most common symptom and is also the easiest one to notice because it will bring attention to the area.

Other symptoms include a stiff jaw that is causing problems with talking or chewing. This can come on suddenly or gradually over time, making it hard to notice. There can also be pain that radiates from your face but also extends to the neck or jaw. The stress on the joints tends to cause symptoms that extend beyond the problem area, making people think their pain is not directly related to the jaw.

There can also be limited mobility with the jaw. You may notice that you cannot open your mouth as wide as you were once able to, which should be a reason to be concerned. You may also have an audible popping or clicking sound when you open your jaw. If not a sound, then a popping sensation that cannot be ignored when eating and talking.

Can You Avoid TMJ Pain?

Once you know that you have a problem with TMJ, you should take steps to avoid causing the jaw to feel sore. Try eating softer foods and avoid chewing gum. It is possible for the pain to go away over time by simply giving your jaw a break.

Are There TMJ Treatments?

A dentist may recommend medication that relaxes the muscles, wearing a mouth guard, or a surgical procedure. You'll likely start with basic techniques, and if they do not work for you then you may eventually resort to tmj treatments or surgery to correct the problem.