Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) happens when the TMJ causes pain when it moves. The TMJ is a joint that connects the jaw and the skull. The joint enables you to open and close your mouth, chew food and speak.
It also allows the jaw to move forward, sideways, and back. When there is a problem with the jaw moving in either direction, which causes pain or discomfort, then there is a TMJ disorder. If you do not treat the problem, it can worsen over time. If you are wondering how to fix TMJ, then read on below.
Causes of TMJ Disorders
There are some causes of TMJ disorders. These include teeth grinding or clenching, which strains the TMJ and causes discomfort over time. When the joint dislocates, or the ball and socket joint is out of place, that can cause pain and, if left untreated, can result in a disorder.
Arthritis is another cause of TMJ disorders since it causes the joint area to degenerate over time, so jaw movement gets less over time. In the case of an accident, you may injure your jaw, causing severe trauma, which will result in the disorder.
Dental issues such as an unaligned bite, TMJ tooth pain and crooked teeth will strain the joint, which over time will cause pain and eventually limited movement of the jaw.
Symptoms Of TMJ
Characteristics of TMJ disorders are mainly discomfort and jaw pain, which happens because the joint is not moving smoothly. This pain can affect surrounding areas such as the ears, the face, and behind the eyes. Because of the strain of the joint trying to operate as it should strain other surrounding areas causes pain that can range from uncomfortable to severe pain.
In some extreme cases, TMJ disorders can result in migraine headaches. Other symptoms that may indicate you may be suffering from TMJ disorders include clicking the jaw, a visibly swollen jaw, sore jaw muscles, difficulty in moving the jaw when chewing or speaking, or yawning.
Orthodontic braces that have been wrongly placed or are not correctly adjusted can also cause TMJ disorders because they may prevent the jaw’s full range of natural movement.
Dentists Treating TMJ Disorders
If you suspect you are suffering from this disorder, you can consult with a professional dentist at Smile Angels of Beverly Hills and get a sure diagnosis. The professional will determine the TMP diagnosis on several factors. The TMJ disorder can be stemming from the muscles around the joints or the actual joint. In some cases, teeth placement and a misaligned bite can also cause the disorder.
If you are wondering how is TMJ diagnosed, then visit a dentist and have your jaw examined. TMP diagnosis is essential because other dental issues cause symptoms similar to TMJ disorders. These conditions can be tooth decay, gum disease, or sinus issues similar to TMJ disorders. The TMJ dentist will carry out a physical examination of the jaw after taking your medical history.
The physical examination will include listening for click and pop sounds when you move your jaw. Your dentist will examine your teeth for any signs of cavities and decays as well as TMJ tooth pain. The dental professional will test your underbite and overbite to see correctly aligned.
They will also examine your facial muscles. Your dentist may opt to take x-rays to get a clear picture of what is happening in the ball and socket joint in the jaw. Additional tests such as MRI and CT scans will provide a clearer picture of the TMJ disc if the dental professional needs more clarity.
A TMJ dentist will treat a TMJ disorder patient successfully because they understand the working of the jaw and the joints. The dentist will also offer different treatment options depending on the severity of the disorder.
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TMJ Disorder Treatments
TMJ disorders can be treated by home methods or under the dentist’s guidance, or even by both ways.
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TMJ pain treatment can be home treatments if it is not a severe case. It includes eating soft foods that rest the jaw for less severe symptoms. Avoid hard foods that require plenty of jaw activity because it may worsen the soreness. Heat and ice will provide jaw pain relief if the pain is from an injury, especially if the jaw muscles need relaxing. Also, dentists will advise on a few jaw exercises to help relax the muscles and provide some comfort.
Your TMJ dentist may opt to give you medication as a TMJ pain treatment. These can be pain medication or anti-inflammatory medicine that relieves jaw pain.
For people who clench their teeth, the dentist may place a splint over the teeth, which will help reduce how often your teeth meet. You can wear the splint can be worn over for periods rather than all the time.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a treatment where the dental professional will use low electrical currents passing over the jaw muscles to relax them and provide pain relief. This can be done at home or at the dental clinic in Smile Angels of Beverly Hills.
Another treatment is the ultrasound, where deep heat is used on the TMJ to relax it, and then physical therapy introduces a broader range of motion. It helps increase the movement of the joint without further injury and pain.
The TMJ dentist will adjust them for dental issues such as orthodontic braces to be comfortable. Wrongly placed braces can also cause a slight misalignment of the bite, and a dentist will correct that to prevent and reduce strain in the jaw.
For a misaligned underbite not correctly aligned, the dentists will carry out bite rehabilitation by either jaw expanders or braces. In the case of TMJ tooth pain the dentist will examine the tooth and treat it based on the issue. TMJ pain treatment can include filling the tooth or getting a root canal for a decaying tooth.
The dentists can also inject the facial muscles with a numbing agent or pain medication to exercise your jaw without pain to relax the tight muscles, which may cause discomfort. If there is still pain after all these, your TMJ dentist may advise you to go for surgery, especially if the joint has been fractured or damaged and reconstruction is necessary.
Getting Help For TMJ Disorder Sufferers
If you suspect that you may be suffering from TMJ disorder, then it is best to visit Smile Angels of Beverly Hills. It will enable you to get a proper TMP diagnosis for the right treatment. Do not ignore the symptoms or self-medicate by using painkillers to deal with the pain and discomfort.
The earlier the disorder you get diagnosed, the better it is for you and your health. Leaving the pain untreated can worsen the condition, which may require more extensive treatment once you decide to come in. If you are looking for how to get rid of TMJ pain, call us today and book your appointment and get pain relief.