TMJ: How it Might Be Affecting You, And How to Find Relief
The pain in your jaw and face can be troubling and not knowing the reason behind it can be frustrating. For many people, the facial pain is a sign of temporomandibular disorder says dentist in Auburn 36830. The Temporomandibular joint is a hinge-like joint which connects your upper and lower jaw bones.
Symptoms of TMJ
- Pain in and around the ear
- Swelling on the side of your face
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw joint
- Pain in neck and shoulders
- Uncomfortable bite or pain while chewing
- Locking of jaw
- Clicking when opening or closing the mouth
Risk factors and causes
- Arthritis damage in joint cartilage
- Disc erosion in the jaw
- A jaw injury
- Grinding and clenching teeth
- Stress and anxiety causing you to tighten facial and jaw muscles
- Poor posture
- Orthodontic braces
- Excessive use of chewing gum
- Connective tissue disease affecting TMJ
Diagnosing Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
One of the first people to diagnose TMJ is your dentist in Auburn, AL. The doctor will check the jaw joints for pain and tenderness. They will also listen to clicking or grating sounds when you move the jaw. They may further take x-rays or CAT scan or MRI for ruling out other potential issues.
Treatment Options for TMJ
- At-home treatment
- Eat soft foods that are non-chewy and do not need you to open your mouth wide.
- Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine.
- Avoid unnecessary jaw movements.
- Learn to manage stress and anxiety.
- Position jaw with teeth slightly apart.
- Place moist heat and cold packs on jaw
- Medical treatment
- Medicines such as pain relievers can help.
- Oral splints or mouth guards prevent clenching and grinding.
- Physiotherapy can help in stretching your jaw.
- If other options don’t relieve the pain, dentist may suggest surgery.
If anytime your joint is not working properly, it can mean that you have symptoms of TMJ and you must get the treatment.