Do I Have TMJ?

“Do I have TMJ?” is a common question we get either over the phone during our 15-minute complimentary consults or in the clinic. First of all, we all have a TMJ. That is, we all have a temporomandibular joint.

The question is, do you have a temporomandibular joint that is in a state of dysfunction and is that causing your symptoms? One way to tell is can you easily fit three or more fingers in your mouth if you hold them in your front incisors. Another question to ask is, do my joints make noises?

There can be different types of noises that a jaw joint makes. If your jaw joint makes a definite click sound every time you open, it is possible that the disc which sits above your lower jaw bone and below your head bone is moving forward. When it is not moving in ideal harmony with the bones, you hear the sound.

 “Should I get treatment?”

If you have pain or irritation, definitely. If it’s not bothersome, possibly. I recently treated a young girl who began clicking during orthodontic care. With some adjustments on her braces and specific exercises that she did consistently every two hours,  we were able to eliminate her clicking. The earlier we catch the problem, the better the results.