TMJ may develop slowly over the course of years and years or maybe a few months. Some people might wake up one day, discovering that their face hurts. Or maybe they can’t chew like they used to because their jaw just began popping or locking up. Or even rigorous activity in playing sports, or gnawing on some really chewy candy can set off TMJ problems that had been waiting to happen all along.

TMJ is the acronym for temporo-mandibular joint and, along with TMD (temporo-mandibular disorder), is what refers to problems and malignments in these joints that control your jaw. Physically, as we age or grow up, the natural harmony of the muscles and bones used in the chewing system can move out of place or may be altered. Continuous bad habits, rigorous activity, or just the natural way the body develops can affect the function of “small” details, such as how comfortable and efficient our mouth works when we speak or eat.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

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