Place your fingers directly in front of your ears and open your mouth, then move your lower jaw from side to side. You’ll be able to feel the hardworking connector between your upper and lower jaws, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint accomplishes myriad tasks and is responsible for much of your ability to chew, speak, and physically express yourself. Unfortunately, this joint can fall prey to a number of disorders, causing pain and reducing ease of use.

Our North Seattle dentist and staff are specially trained in TMJ therapy and offer a number of solutions for your jaw pain. Whether through massage therapy or muscle-relaxing Botox, we will find a way to bring you relief. This topic is so important to us and therapy has brought such relief to our patients that we’re doing a two-part blog post. Learn about TMJ disorders this week, then check back with us next Tuesday to discover how Dr. Okamura and our team can treat your TMD.

North Seattle Dentist on Causes of TMJ and Chronic Facial Pain or Jaw Pain

Chronic pain can often be mysterious in origin. TMJ disorders may arise from a malfunctioning disc between the lower jaw (mandible) and the temporal bone (a part of the skull). But there may also be a number of other causes, stemming from your habits, lifestyle, or other issues. These include:

  • Chronic teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Arthritis
  • Malocclusion (a bad bite)
  • Overuse of the jaw
  • Trauma to the TMJ

Although the most significant symptom of a TMJ disorder is jaw pain or facial pain, that can result from many sources. What dictates that your pain is due to a TMJ disorder? You should contact our Seattle dentist if you experience pain accompanied by any of the following:

  • Stiffness of the jaw
  • Difficulty using the jaw while chewing, speaking, or opening the mouth
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Strange noises of any kind that accompany jaw movement
  • A change in your bite / the way your teeth fit together.

These issues will affect your life and take a toll on your daily activities. Spending any amount of time dealing with chronic pain is draining, exhausting, and frustrating. Our North Seattle dentist can help you! Contact our office to learn more, and check back next week for our blog post on TMJ treatment.

Dr. Kim Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.