The proper alignment of your jaw is important to your overall dental health. The temporomandibular joint is like a sliding hinge that attaches your jawbone to the skull and it is used to open and close the mouth properly every time you chew, swallow, or talk.
If your temporomandibular joints are not functioning well and cause pain, this is called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. TMJ disorder can be caused by simple stress or a more serious problem, such as eroding of the disk or damaged joints and cartilage.
TMJ disorder can be painful, but the discomfort generally doesn’t linger for long. On the other hand, if the pain remains for several weeks, an appointment with your dentist or a TMJ specialist is advised.
What are the symptoms of TMJ Disorder?
Teeth grinding – also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is a common sign of TMJ disorder. Grinding or clenching your teeth put stress on your overworked muscles and therefore result in pain to the head, neck and face, as well as to the shoulder or back. Teeth grinding also often leads to worn or chipped teeth.
Headaches – sufferers of TMJ disorder often experience headache or migraine. A headache caused by jaw problems occurs in the temple area, which radiates to the neck and shoulders. This can be treated by your dentist or a TMJ specialist. However, if it the headache or migraine is not jaw-related, a neurologist is the best person to see.
Ear-related issues – another symptom of TMJ disorder is ear pain and ringing or buzzing in the ears. Ear pain can be related to problems that develop in the structure of the joint.
Clicking or popping of the jaw – if your jaw is making noise such as popping, clicking, or a grating sound, there is a high possibility that you have TMJ disorder, as this is the most common sign of the syndrome. Another indication is the when the jaw locks open or closed. If not treated right away, these problems can result in extreme pain and discomfort.
Sleep disturbances – sufferers of jaw problems have a hard time sleeping well. Due to pain caused by severe contractions, grinding activity, and dislocated jaw joints, sufferers are not able to sleep well and awaken feeling tired and sluggish.
Possible Treatments for TMJ Disorder
The primary goal of TMJ treatment is to relieve any existing muscle spasms or inflammation. Your dentist will evaluate your condition to determine what treatment plan will work for you. There are many non-surgical treatments that have been effective in treating jaw problems. These include:
- Exercises for jaw
- Posture improvement
- Stress management
- Ice or hot packs
- Temporary soft diet
- Prescribed muscle relaxers or pain medications
If these conservative treatments don’t work, the last resort is surgery. At Warner Lakes Dental, we will only consider surgery for severe TMJ disorder cases and only after non-surgical treatments are unsuccessful.
Visit Warner Lakes Dental today!
To learn more about your treatment options for TMJ disorder, visit us here at Warner Lakes Dental. We will recommend the best possible solution for your jaw pain and TMJ disorder.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of TMJ disorder, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at Warner Lakes Dental to get comprehensive diagnosis and treatment.