TMJ disorders can cause people inexplicable amounts of pain and seemingly come out of nowhere. The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the junction between your jaw and your head that connects them. A variety of different problems can cause pain in this joint. There are also several ways that TMJ disorders can be treated. Your dentist or a TMJ specialist are the best people to speak to if you suspect that you have a TMJ disorder. Continue reading to learn more about TMJ, the symptoms and causes of TMJ disorders, and the treatment options that are available.
Symptoms Of TMJ Disorders
The temporomandibular joint is basically the hinge for your face that allows you to open your mouth, speak, laugh, yawn, and chew. If something happens to this hinge, then there can be several symptoms that an individual can experience. Common symptoms of a TMJ disorder include:
- Inflammation in your jaw
- Tenderness or pain in your temporomandibular joint
- Pain in or around your ear
- A clicking sensation in your temporomandibular joint
- Locking of your jaw
- Inability to open or close your mouth
- Facial aches
There can be mild and severe cases of TMJ dysfunction that must be treated in different ways. Make sure to speak with your dentist and/or doctor if your symptoms become difficult to manage, worsen, or if you begin to experience new symptoms.
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
It is frequently difficult to ascertain the exact cause of an individual’s TMJ disorder. But there are several common causes that could be to blame. A blow to the jaw or the side of the head can cause swelling in the TMJ and/or damage the joint. Cartilage and disks are located in the temporomandibular joint which allows you to smoothly and easily use your jaw. If these parts are damaged by arthritis, bruxism, or stress, then you could experience a lot of pain. Lastly, some people are simply more predisposed to get TMJ disorders than others due to genetics.
There are many different treatments available for TMJ issues. Many times, discomfort caused by TMJ will go away on its own. Typically symptoms will decrease within three weeks. Dentists will typically recommend taking pain medication and using ice packs to relieve inflammation. Some joint exercises might also be helpful. However, if TMJ problems were caused by arthritis or bruxism, pain can stick around for much longer than a few weeks. That is when physical therapy and jaw exercises become vital. You may also want to invest in a mouth guard to use at night that will keep your teeth from grinding together during the night and help your mouth relax.
Do You Need A New Dentist?
If you have been experiencing problems with your temporomandibular joint, then it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible. Our dentist, Eric Felt, is a professional and experienced dentist who can help you learn more about your TMJ and can suggest potential routes you could take to help improve your condition. We offer comprehensive dental care options here at Eric Felt Dental and our team is eager to help you with any dental problem that you may have. Feel free to reach out to us today for more information.
To learn more about the temporomandibular joint and TMJ disorders, feel free to read here.