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TMJ, Jaw Pain and Headaches

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), is responsible for chewing, talking and yawning. Like most joints in the human body, excessive wear and tear can result in a range of problems, and chronic jaw pain can greatly impact the quality of life. Like most wear and tear problems in the body, there is a whole range of signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disease, including any combination of:

1. Jaw clicking, popping and rasping sounds
2. Pain or difficulty with opening, yawning, and chewing
3. Loose or excessively worn teeth, and gum disease
4. Headaches
5. Muscle tenderness in the head and neck region
6. Vision changes
7. Ringing in the ears

TMJ disease has often been associated with nighttime teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism) behaviors due to stress. Recent studies have shown that breathing and airway compromises lead to inadequate oxygen intake to the brain, which can trigger snoring, apnea and clenching of teeth. TMD is a complex condition with many contributing risk factors. Ueno Center’s wellness team is prepared to evaluate for TMJ diseases and their related risk factors and refer you to the proper specialists, if necessary