ZocdocAnswersCan TMJ make chewing difficult?

Question

Can TMJ make chewing difficult?

I'm able to chew but I have to do this slowly and I can only put so much food in my mouth. Do I have TMJ? How do I fix this?

Answer

While it is hard to say for sure whether or not you have TMJ (also known as temporo mandibular joint dysfunction syndrome), it is clear that you have a problem that will require the help of a health care professional. There are many possible explanations for your problem, only one of which involves TMJ, but it is true that TMJ is relatively common and can often cause similar complaints to what you describe in otherwise healthy people. If you think you may have TMJ, you may hear or feel clicking when you open your jaw wider, and there may be pain associated with mouth opening. As there are so many other possibilities, however, speaking with a surgeon or other doctor is important before jumping right into self treatment. If you are ultimately diagnosed with TMJ, know that there are options available to help with the pain and limited mouth opening. For example, some people will have great benefit with something as simple as a mouth guard, while others will have improvement with over the counter anti inflammatory medications. Regardless, speaking with a doctor or dentist is a first step towards helping you to feel better and recover quickly. Please speak with a health care professional.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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