What is TMJ?
TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) is a condition involving problems with your temporomandibular (jaw-hinge) joint. Your jaw-hinge joint connects your jaw to your skull bones, enabling you to move your jaw, talk, yawn, and chew your food.
What Causes TMJ?
The cause of TMJ isn’t clear. Many dental experts look at jaw bone or muscle complications stemming from various factors, such as:
- Trauma, accident, or injury to your jaw, head, or neck (whiplash)
- Inflammation from certain medical conditions
- Stress that can tighten the jaw and facial muscles through teeth grinding and jaw clenching
Exerting excessive pressure on this joint by teeth grinding or clenching can cause TMJ. This often happens while you sleep and you’re not always aware of it. Many people subconsciously grind their teeth due to anxiety and stress.
What are the Symptoms of TMJ?
Moderate to severe pain, soreness, and discomfort in the jaw hinge joint, and the surrounding area is the main symptom of TMJ.
TMJ occurs more commonly in women and younger adults between age 20 and 40.
You might experience other symptoms of TMJ, such as:
- Issues when you try to open your mouth wide
- Locked jaw when your jaw gets stuck while your mouth is closed or open
- Tenderness and pain in the hinge joint that can spread to the ears, shoulders, and neck
- Popping, clicking, and grating sounds stemming from your jaw joint when you move it
- Swelling in your face around the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
- Headaches, earaches, and dizziness
You might also have ringing in your ears (tinnitus) and trouble hearing.
What are the Treatments for TMJ?
The Aesthetic Dental professionals provide an effective range of treatments for TMJ, depending on the severity and cause. A splint or night guard might be recommended to prevent nighttime or daytime teeth grinding and clenching. Night guards are a great way to treat TMJ and relieve pain.
In some cases, your dentist might also offer other treatments, such as medications like anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants.
Dental work might be necessary and typically involves replacing missing teeth and dental options like bridges, crowns, or braces that can correct your bite, balance your biting surfaces, improve your smile, and protect your oral health.
Your dentist assesses your current dental health, TMJ symptoms, and your questions and concerns. Your dentist takes time to create an individualized treatment plan.
Don’t just deal with the symptoms of TMJ. Call Aesthetic Dental Centers or book online today.