TMJ is the abbreviation for temporomandibular joint. These are the joints in front of your ears where your jaw connects to your skull that allows your teeth to move up, down, and side to side. If you experience headaches, neck or facial pain do not self-diagnose your condition. An appointment with your dentist may provide a treatment for TMJ disorder that may ease the discomfort you have been experiencing.
Migraines can lead to blinding pain that can produce nausea and the inability to function. Being able to accurately describe your symptoms is important for diagnosing your condition and finding a solution.
TMJ disorder most often results in pain in the jaws, face, neck, and head. The reasons people suffer from TMJ are varied … this condition can be due to arthritis, genetics, or could be the result of an injury. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching can contribute to this discomfort as well.
If teeth grinding and clenching are playing a role in your TMJ symptoms, stress and/or anxiety can play a role. And since it seems everyone has daily stressors to deal with, getting rid of them can be difficult.
One possible solution, and a great place to start if you’re experiencing this discomfort is with your dentist. Be prepared to describe what you’re experiencing. For example, do you hear or feel a clicking in your jaw when you chew? Is it accompanied by pain? Do you ever feel like your jaw locks up? While a definitive diagnosis of TMJ disorder may be difficult to ascertain, your dentist may be able to offer you a very effective solution.
Oral appliance therapy can bring you much needed relief. Your dentist will have a mouth guard fabricated that is designed to be worn while sleeping. While this measure does not cure the condition that contributes to your discomfort, it will prevent the teeth grinding and jaw clenching that may be largely responsible for your discomfort.
Other aids that can work in conjunction with oral appliance therapy include cold packs or heat applied to the jaws; cut food into small bites to limit chewing; eat softer foods; take an over the counter analgesic for pain as prescribed.
TMJ discomfort is manageable. Visit our team at Tate Family Dentistry for the recommended TMJ treatment that is designed to work best for you.