Temporomandibular joint disorders, or TMJ disorders, can affect the jaw, the joint and the surrounding tissues and trigger pain and inflammation while interfering with normal function. The cause of TMJ disorders is often unclear. Many times the condition occurs due to abnormalities or damage within the joint or the jaw muscles. In some cases, injury can also trigger TMJ symptoms. Arthritis and bruxism can increase your risk of developing TMJ disorders.
Symptoms of TMJ
• Neck, jaw, facial or shoulder pain
• Pain in or around the neck
• Pain during chewing, speaking or other mouth movements
• Jaws that lock into a certain position
• Clicking, grating or popping sounds or sensations
• An uncomfortable bite or difficulty chewing
• Facial swelling or a sensation of fatigue
• One-sided pain or discomfort or pain that affects both sides of the face
• Earaches or hearing problems
• Tinnitis, or ringing in the ears
Many other conditions can trigger symptoms that are similar to TMJ symptoms, so it is critical that you seek a professional diagnosis. Our doctor will evaluate your symptoms and your jaw joint to identify the cause of the discomfort and record your dental and health history. We will work with you to create a treatment plan to decrease your discomfort and promote healthier functioning.
Lifestyle changes can often help ease the pressure on the joint. Limit your diet to soft foods as your jaw heals, and use warm and moist or cool compresses to ease irritation and inflammation. Avoid habits that can worsen symptoms, including resting your chin on your hand, biting your nails, chewing gums or chewing on nonfood items, such as pencils or ice.
Oral appliances may also be recommended. These specially designed mouth guards keep the jaw in a healthy, comfortable position and alleviate the pressure that can worsen symptoms. Medications may be prescribed to reduce pain and promote healing. If less invasive treatment options do not provide sufficient symptom relief, we may recommend injections or other procedures to alleviate inflammation and discomfort.
If you are suffering from symptoms of TMJ, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about TMJ or to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Disclaimer: Obviously, every patient’s case is different, and needs to be properly diagnosed and treated by a healthcare professional. Please see your healthcare professional or contact us for an appointment.