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Your lower jaw is attached to the upper jaw by a pair of temporomandibular joints. These are sophisticated joints working in concert with muscles, ligaments, and a cartilaginous disk. They are what allow you to open your mouth to talk and bite, chew and grind food. Sometimes a mechanical injury or inflammation issues in these joints can cause discomfort and pain, known as TMJ disorder.

While there can be multiple causes, TMJ disorder has some common symptoms to watch out for. Many people who develop TMJ disorder complain of an ache near their temples or just in front of their ears. This is often due to chronic muscle tension resulting from clenching the jaw frequently or grinding teeth.

A pain in the joint when you bite down is also a common symptom. This can often be related to inflammation that has built up in the joint or the early onset of arthritis. Clicking in one or both temporomandibular joints when you chew is not always a symptom of TMJ disorder. However, many cases of TMJ disorder that result from a previous jaw dislocation or arthritis will often experience this.

If you have been experiencing the TMJ disorder in Frederick, Maryland, you should call Dental Arts of Frederick at 301-663-5552 to have it professionally diagnosed and treated by your dentist, Dr. Kevin Oakes.