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Pain in the muscles and tissues that connect your lower jaw to your skull can be a symptom of a number of disorders called temporomandibular joint disorders, more commonly known as TMJ or TMD pain.

There is a temporomandibular joint on each side of your head, just in front of and below the ears. If the structures around the jaw, such as the cartilage in the joint, the muscles of the neck, jaw, face, ligaments, nerves, or the teeth, are subjected to abnormal stresses, then that can cause pain in the joints.

There are many things that can cause temporomandibular joint pain. Some are related to bad oral habits, such as clenching or grinding the teeth, excessively chewing gum, or popping the jaw. Other causes can be a dysfunctional bite, stress, poor diet, and lack of exercise or sleep. Arthritis, fractures, dislocations and certain structural problems present since birth can also contribute.

The symptoms of TMD are varied. They may include discomfort and difficulty when biting or chewing, popping, grating, or clicking when opening and closing the mouth, a dull ache in the face, earaches, headaches, pain or stiffness in the jaw, or a change in how the teeth fit together.

If you have any of these symptoms, Dr. Spillers and Dr. Gordon can help you. Call Spillers Orthodontics today at 478-953-2700 to learn about your options for treating TMJ pain.