TMJ, which is short for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, causes millions of people to suffer from jaw pain, toothache, inflammation, tooth grinding, headaches, and other conditions. Despite how common TMJ is, many people do not seek out a TMJ specialist for help. Yet, untreated TMJ can lead to more serious impairments and oral health problems.
TMJ is brought about by an injury or wear to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects the skull to the jawbone. This injury, in turn, affects the nerves and muscles in the jaw. Any injury or unnecessary wear on your TMJ will lead to toothache pain when you chew or cause a clicking or popping in your jaw whenever you move your jaw. In addition, TMJ sometimes is accompanied by face swelling, inflammation of the nerves, tooth grinding, and chronic headaches. At times, TMJ results in extreme stiffness, dislocation of the jaw itself, or even lockjaw.
TMJ disorders can be caused by many factors, including the misalignment of or injury to your teeth and jaw, stress, poor posture, excessive chewing of gum, teeth grinding, arthritis and other inflammatory disorders in the musculoskeletal system.
For a definitive TMJ diagnosis, contact Medgaus Dental Care. To verify the cause of your symptoms and determine which treatment is most appropriate, we will review your medical history, ask you about your symptoms, perform a physical exam of your mouth and jaw and take x-rays.
In some circumstances, based on the results of your examination, your TMJ specialist may conclude that your symptoms suggest a condition other than TMJ. In those cases, we will refer you to an eye, ear, nose and throat (EENT) doctor, an oral and maxillofacial professional or another medical professional.
There are a variety of measures to address the symptoms of TMJ. These include various home remedies, such as applying ice packs to the joint area, using over-the-counter NSAIDs, avoiding excessive chewing and teeth grinding, eating soft foods, massaging the neck muscle or jaw and performing relaxation techniques. If such home remedies do not bring about relief, other TMJ treatments that have proven effective include a bite guard, bite adjustments or a night guard.