TMJ disorders refer to the temporomandibular joint, which serves as a hinge connecting your temporal bones to your skull. These bones, located in front of your ear, help you with jaw movement and allow you to perform critical actions such as talk and chew.

Those with from TMJ disorders can suffer from pain and have limited range of jaw movement, making it difficult to eat or talk. Patients feel this pain in the neck and jaw joint area but it can easily extend to head and face. According to a study published in the National Institutes of Health, TMJ affects more women than men.

If you are suffering from jaw pain and headache, known as TMJ pain, it’s important to schedule a meeting for a complete examination with your dentist at 7 Day dental. Although the pain goes away with time in most cases, it can easily lead to arthritis, jaw injury, and chronic grinding of teeth.

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

It is often difficult to figure out the exact cause of TMJ disorder as it can develop from various factors. Common factors include genetics, arthritis, and jaw injury. Clenching or grinding of teeth can also lead to TMJD.

Although all these factors contribute to TMJ and various other disorders, their presence doesn’t always lead to TMJ.

Usually, TMJ-related pain occurs when the joint disc erodes and is misaligned as a result. TMJ pain can also develop from a damaged cartilage due to arthritis. If your jaw joint is damaged due to trauma or impact, it can easily develop into TMJD.

Symptoms of TMJ

The common symptoms of TMJ include the following.

  1. Pain when chewing
  2. Pain in jaw joint
  3. Pain in the neck
  4. Pain in the face
  5. When you have a stiff jaw (stiff jaw muscles)
  6. Limited jaw movement
  7. Pain with clicking and grating sounds coming from the jaw joint
  8. Misaligned jaw
  9. When you have a persistent headache
  10. Persistent ringing in the ears

Treatments for TMJ

If you are suffering from TMJ pain, it’s possible that it will go away with self-managed care. In some cases, it only requires non-surgical treatments. However, surgery could prove to be the only option in some cases where other methods have failed to relieve pain.

Bite Splint or Dental Guard

A dental guard is often used as a treatment for TMJ pain. It’s worn at night and it can help to stabilize and realign upper and law teeth.

A stabilization dental guard prevents upper molars from touching the lower molars. Your dentist will use a soft material to allow your molars to decompress.

Unlike a stabilization splint, the realignment splint realigns the bite permanently. Patients need to wear it at all times – during the day and during the night.

A bite splint can often help to alleviate pain in patients with TMJ. However, it might prove useless for some patients and they may have to discuss alternative treatments with their dentist at 7 Day Dental office.

Other Treatment Options for TMJ Pain

Here are some alternative treatments for TMJ disorders that you might want to discuss with your 7 day Dental dentist.

  1. Physical therapies (biofeedback, ultrasound treatment, physical exercises)
  2. Yoga and meditation can also help
  3. Stress management can alleviate pain in some cases
  4. Muscle relaxing medications
  5. OTC pain medications

Your dentist may suggest using a combination of therapies to help reduce your TMJ pain.

When to See Your Dentist at 7 Day Dental

If you have persistent pain or other symptoms of TMJ related disorders such as limited jaw movement, be sure to schedule an appointment with your family dentist at 7 Day Dental. Your doctor may choose to work with a team consisting of a maxillofacial surgeon and a pain management specialist.

At 7 Day Dental, our dedicated doctors always use the latest research and technology when a TMJ patient requires a surgery. Our doctors have extensive experience dealing with TMJ disorders and pain.

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