The temporomandibular joint is a hinge in your mouth that slides around as necessary. Bones that work with the joint are covered with cartilage and have a small disk separating them which is used to absorb shock.
If you have TMJ pain, it could be caused by any number of reasons, such as an eroded disk or a physical blow. In general, there is no way of knowing what could be causing TMJ pain, but it comes with risk factors that could help you determine how it happened.
How TMJ Pain Can Occur
If you feel like you are having TMJ issues, then it helps to know why so you can prevent further damage. Arthritis is often a pretty serious factor, but if you have a history of clenching your teeth when you are stressed or grinding them in your sleep, that could also cause TMJ pain. There are also a few connective tissue disorders that could make you more susceptible to discomfort in the jaw.
When You Should Seek Help for TMJ Pain
If your TMJ discomfort has been going on for a long time and causing you issues such as problems with eating or speaking, it is probably a good idea to come in and get it checked out. While it could be related to something as simple as playing the violin and needing to take a break from it for a little while, it could also be something more serious such as an infection that you were not aware of. It can be very important to get your TMJ pain checked out if it is causing you trouble with your daily activities or is so painful you are unable to function normally.
We are happy to help you figure out what is going on. If you are concerned about your temporomandibular joint and would like to learn more about what might be causing you discomfort, please contact our office.