What Are TMD/TMJ Disorders?
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD/TMJ) is a condition that affects the place where the lower jaw meets the skull. If this joint isn't working right, it can cause problems with chewing, speaking, and even opening your mouth wide.
TMJ disorders are common in both adults and children. They can range from mild to very severe, making everyday activities like eating and talking very difficult.
What Causes TMD/TMJ Disorders?
There's no one answer to this question since many different things can cause TMJ disorders. Some of the most common causes include:
- Trauma or injury to the jaw
- Arthritis or other joint diseases
- Misaligned teeth or jaws
- Grinding or clenching your teeth (bruxism)
- Poor posture
Symptoms of TMD/TMJ Disorders in Children
TMD symptoms in children are similar to those in adults. Typically, when children open and close their mouth, they may report hearing a popping, clicking, or grating sound. Don't be alarmed if they do. It's sometimes common for toddlers to experience a tight jaw or even aching face muscles from time to time. However, you should seek medical treatment immediately if your child develops other symptoms such as:
- pain or swelling near the jaw
- ear pain
- hearing loss
- constant ringing in the ears
Recommendation for Parents
Keep an eye out for symptoms. We can also make an appointment with Dr. Hu to figure out what's causing your child's jaw problems. Dr. Hu is a licensed and certified specialist who can assess if your child has a TMJ problem and what treatment options are available.
TMJ problems can cause symptoms similar to sleep apnea, so parents need to be aware of what to watch out for. If not treated, TMJ disorders can lead to more severe health problems.
If you have any questions about TMJ problems and treatment solutions for children, please don't hesitate to contact Smiles of Alaska at (907) 202-9685 or (907) 262-6466.