We Can Help Relieve Your TMJ/Jaw Pain
Are you suffering from pain or discomfort in your jaw? Do you experience tenderness in your face, neck, or shoulders every time you open or move your mouth?
You may have a TMJ disorder.
Your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the fulcrum that holds the upper and lower jaws, which allows you to open your mouth as you eat, chew, talk, or yawn. They are located in about the same area as your ears.
What Triggers TMJ?
While the exact cause is yet to be determined, TMJ disorders often arise when there is a problem in the jaw joints or the muscles that connect them.
Common causes include:
• Frequent clenching or grinding of the teeth (this places too much pressure on the joints) and displacement or dislocation of the soft disc that is in between the joint socket and ball.
• Stress, which causes the tightening of the jaw or facial muscles, is also a known trigger of a TMJ dysfunction.
• An impact or blow to the jaw area.
• Arthritis in these joints can also set off the problem.
Discomfort, sharp pains, and ear pain are common signs of a dysfunctional TMJ. The sensation may be temporary, can last for months or years’ or can be recurring. It can affect either or both jaws.
In addition to pain and discomfort, tenderness in the face, joint, neck, ears, and shoulders are also commonly reported. Symptoms usually arise every time the patient moves or opens his or her mouth; there is difficulty when chewing as a result of the ill-fitted upper and lower jaw joints.
Another indicator of TMJ problems is having a stuck or locked jaw. The patient may also display a tired look on his or her face. The disorder may also manifest in some swelling on the side of the face.
These symptoms are sometimes accompanied with grating or clicking sounds, which may or may not be painful.
Headaches, toothaches, dizziness or vertigo, ear problems, and shoulder pain are also common among patients with dysfunctional TMJ.
According to statistics, women are more likely to suffer from this condition compared to men. It is most common during the ages of 20 to 40.
Diagnosis and Treatment
TMJ problems share the same symptoms as tooth decay, gum disease, sinus problems, or arthritis. To ascertain the exact causes of your condition, you need to speak with a dental specialist.
Pain management at home includes over-the-counter medications, which usually consist of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the swelling or pain. Cold or heat packs placed on the affected side of the face can also soothe the discomfort.
If you are struggling with TMJ problems, get in touch with us. There are a number of treatments available.
A night guard may be recommended. These plastic mouthpieces are fitted on the upper and lower teeth to reduce the effects of grinding or clenching.
Other options include:
• Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) – low-level electrical currents used to relieve the pain and relax the affected joints and muscles
• Trigger-Point Injection (anesthesia or pain-relieving medication is injected)
• Radio Wave Therapy
Call our office today so we can determine the best plan of action to alleviate your TMJ pain.