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If you think you have TMJ disorder, you are not alone. Over 10 million people in the U.S. alone have been diagnosed.

The primary sign of TMJ Disorder is jaw pain. Other symptoms may consist of an aching pain around the ear, trouble chewing, facial pain, and jaw locking. You may hear or feel a popping while working your jaw joints. If there is no pain associated with the popping, however, you will probably not need treatment.

The temporomandibular joint (aka TMJ) is like a joystick for the motion of your jaw. It is covered in cartilage and the center of the joint is separated by a small shock-absorbing disk. TMJ disorder can be the result of that cartilage or disk wearing away or moving out of alignment. It can also happen when there is damage due to arthritis, or be due to the aftermath of a blow or another kind of forceful impact. Stress, bruxism, leaning on the chin or biting your nails may all be causal factors.

Sometimes TMJ goes away on its own without treatment. If your symptoms are persistent, however, Dr. Bruce Hutchison can definitely offer you many choices for treatment. Medication, mouth guards, physical therapy, and even counseling may all be viable options.

If you are experiencing jaw pain and would like to know why, you can call 703-830-9110 to visit our Smiles for Centreville office in Centreville, Virginia.