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Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a very painful or aggravating condition for many people. While some may only feel a discomfort that eventually goes away, others experience a long-term, debilitating pain in the jaw, accompanied by migraines, difficulty chewing, and the inability to fully open or close their mouths.
You can get relief from this constant pain.
At the Center for Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry, you can get an effective TMJ treatment to return to a normal, pain-free lifestyle.
What are the Causes of TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint has a small, shock-absorbing disk that separates the joint from the cartilage-covered bones that interact with it. If everything is working correctly, this disk keeps everything moving smoothly.
If this disk erodes or moves out of alignment, or the cartilage is damaged, some painful TMJ can occur. However, in many cases, the exact cause is hard to pinpoint. TMJ could also be caused by a crooked bite or constant grinding and clenching of teeth. It could be the result of genetics, jaw injury, or arthritis.
When you come in for an appointment, our first step is to determine the exact cause so we can provide the most effective treatment right away.
What are the Symptoms of TMJ?
There are several common symptoms that are associated with temporomandibular joint disorder. The most common of which include:
- A popping, clicking, or grating in the lower jaw
- A hinderance in your ability to move the jaw
- A shift in your normal bite (or an uncomfortable bite)
- Pain, soreness or tenderness in your jaw
- Tenderness or swelling in the face
- Trouble chewing food
- Aching around the ears/a ringing or pressure in the ears
- Aching pain in the facial muscles
- Stiffness in the jaw muscles
- Neck and shoulder discomfort
- Joints locking and making it hard to open and close your mouth
Finding Relief from the Pain
In some cases, the pain and discomfort of a TJM disorder is temporary, but when the pain just won’t go away, it’s time to make an appointment and come in and see us.
There are several non-invasive or low-invasive treatments that we may employ to help you find relief from the pain. Some cases may call for oral appliances – small plastic mouthpieces – that fit over the upper and lower teeth. This is an effective solution for patients who chronically grind their teeth at night, and can help protect your bite.
Botox is another common treatment for TMJ. It can be injected into the muscles around the affected area to alleviate the headaches and stress. It can even help restore some of the movement in the jaw.
Surgy is a last resort, but it may be necessary if the other non-invasive treatment haven’t worked.
When Should You Make an Appointment for TMJ Treatment?
The temporomandibular joint contributes to your ability to eat, talk, swallow, and many other things. In other words, if this is the source of your pain, it can interfere with many of your daily activities.
Don’t put off your treatment.
You may not think it is an emergency dental situation, since the pain came on more gradually, but the sooner you come in, the sooner you can find relief.
At the Center for Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry, we can provide quick and effective treatments for TMJ pain.
Contact us today to find out how we can help.