TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. Temporal, as in the temple area of the skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it is located where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. In addition to the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them, and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong, a good deal of trouble can result.
Dental treatments for TMJ relief can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding, which can contribute to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.
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