The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jawbone to the skull. TMJ disorders often cause discomfort in the cheek, jaw, or ear areas and can affect normal jaw function. Myofacial pain, or discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function can be exacerbated by clenching or grinding teeth.
Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders are frequently intensified by stress and can include:
- Soreness in the cheek or jaw area
- Pain in or around the ears
- Facial pain
- Tight jaws
- Popping or clicking sounds when opening mouth
- Locking of the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
Treatment for TMJ disorders is most frequently accomplished through use of a customized mouth guard. Worn at night, it relieves the pain while protecting your teeth from damage and reducing the stress on your jaw.