Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder: Symptoms And Treatment

It is an accepted fact, that toothache can be one of the most painful experiences that one may come across in their life. Many moms have even said that they felt less pain in childbirth as compared to when they had a problem with their teeth.

Now dental problems can be caused by many different factors. Most of the dental problems are caused due to the fact that people don’t give their teeth as much attention as they should. They only realize this when the problem has turned into something much worse. Dental problems can be very serious and it is imperative that people give them the necessary attention that they deserve.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ Disorder is one such problem. It is painful and can get worse if not properly diagnoses and treated.

WHAT IS TMJ DISORDER?

TMJ disorder affects the jaw joints and the muscles that control and hold the jaws together. It can cause severe pain in the jaws and muscles surrounding the jaws. The TMJ is actually a part of the skull and is located at the base of the skull. Its sole purpose is to make the jaw movement possible. This means that we use the temporomandibular joint when we yawn; chew food or even when we speak. This shows the importance of the TMJ. When this joint is affected, it can cause a lot of problems other than the pain. This is why it is very important to diagnose the TMJ disorder as soon as possible.

HOW IS TMJ DIAGNOSED

The Temporomandibular Joint is considered as one of the most complex joints in the body. This is why it can sometimes be very difficult to diagnose the issue. The symptoms are somewhat similar to a lot of other dental problems so you might not realize that you are suffering from TMJ until and unless you visit your dentist and get a dental X-Ray.

What can cause TMJ
  • One of the most prominent reasons is that people don’t show seriousness about dental hygiene.

  • If you don’t take good care of your teeth and jaws then that overtime it can make things worse and you might start suffering from TMJ.

  • Other reasons may include injury to the jaw and teeth grinding habit.

SYMPTOMS OF TMJ

A lot of symptoms may direct you to TMJ however the symptoms are so similar to other dental problems that you might not understand right away that you are suffering from a serious dental condition. This is why it is recommended to visit the dentist as soon as you start feeling that something is wrong. Unfortunately people only realize that they might be suffering from TMJ when they start feeling excruciating pain in the jaws. If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms then you shouldn’t waste a moment and get an appointment with your dentist.

  • If you hear a sound when you open or close the mouth.

  • If your jaw and the surrounding areas feel pain when you press them.

  • If you can’t open your jaw to the full size.

  • Continuous Headaches

  • Tooth Decay

  • Neck Pain

  • Eye Pain

  • Shoulder Pain

HOW CAN TMJ DISORDER BE TREATED?

Sometimes the TMJ disorder may itself get better however it is recommended to get proper treatment for the problem. There are three major types of treatment for TMJ disorder.

  • Through Medication

  • Through Dental Therapies

  • Through Surgical Procedures

DENTAL THERAPIES

Dental therapies are very important for people suffering from TMJ disorder. Dental therapy would perfectly complement the medication. Following dental therapy types can be used by people suffering from the TMJ disorder.

  • Physical Therapy– Wide range of exercises for the jaw.

  • Counseling – Counseling that helps you understand the causes of TMJ disorder. So that you may be more careful in future.

  • Dental Appliances – Mouth guard and other dental appliances can also be great in relieving you of any jaw pain caused due to TMJ disorder. These appliances can also help you correct the placement of your jaw.

If you have any questions regarding TMJ disorder, please feel free to contact or call Marquez Integrative Dental at 915.779.6403 for more information.

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