Posted .

You’ve heard the initials “TMJ” a lot, but what does it mean? TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. Everyone has two of these special joints. They are a complex system comprised of the two joints, jaw muscles and ligaments that enable the opening and closing of the mouth.

Your TMJ facilitate chewing, talking and even swallowing. These joints also control the mandible as it moves forward, backward and side to side.

Each of your TMJ has a disc situated between the ball and socket. This disc provides a cushion, of sorts, and it enables the jaw to function in a variety of ways, including opening widely or rotating or gliding.

A TMJ disorder is any problem that prevents these muscles, ligaments, discs and bones from working together properly. TMJ disorders are often painful and can be caused by arthritis, dislocation, injuries, tooth and jaw alignment (or misalignment), stress and teeth-grinding.

It’s essential that you are properly diagnosed for TMJ disorders, because they can be treated! This is wonderful news, because TMJ disorders (often called “TMD”) can potentially become a serious problem.

There are several treatments for TMD and some of them are fairly simple. But sometimes TMD needs to be addressed through orthodontic treatment.

The best course of action is to come and visit our office, so we can take a look at your individual situation. So, if you experience a painful popping or clicking noise while chewing — or perhaps you have frequent headaches or jaw pain — please call us at 425-741-2030, and we’ll be happy to help.