While many people have heard of TMJ, the condition causing dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint is actually called TMD, or temporomandibular disorder. This is a condition caused by misalignment of the upper and lower jaw. People with TMD can unconsciously clench or grind their teeth together. While teeth grinding or clenching is a common symptom, it does not necessarily mean that you have TMD if you have those symptoms.
There are multiple symptoms associated with TMD, such as chronic jaw, neck, or shoulder pain. Some individuals may also experience the sensation of their teeth clicking together or a feeling as though their teeth do not line up correctly.
Diagnosing TMD can be tricky, but your dentist will look for the possibility of tendonitis, myositis or myalgia, muscle dysfunction, and nerve entrapment. There can be several causes, and your dentist will look into all factors before customizing a treatment plan for you.
Often, at-home remedies can be used to reduce the symptoms. However, if home remedies are not helping your dentist may administer cortisone injections, bridgework, or flushing to alleviate symptoms.