TMJ disorders affecting the jaw joint and muscles controlling the jaw are challenging to diagnose and treat because of the complexity of the joint. In the United States, approximately 12 percent of people experience TMJ disorders at some time. Women outnumber men with TMJ disorders experiencing severe pain and restricted jaw movement.
If you are affected by a TMJ disorder, it becomes essential for you to understand the causes, symptoms, and treatment options to find relief from the pain and tenderness you feel in your jaw. Get informed about these conditions on The Dental Care Blog and find the relief you need for your TMJ disorder.
What Are TMJ Disorders?
TMJ disorders are problems affecting the temporomandibular joint. There is a wide range of symptoms causing varying amounts of discomfort. TMJ disorders fall in a broad category, and the question results from many causes. Therefore it is easy to find various treatments for the condition available from TMJ specialist dentistry near me.
The dentist diagnoses TMJ disorders after considering a range of symptoms, including restricted jaw movement and persistent pain around the jaw. Most TMJ disorders resolve by themselves without needing treatment. However, discomfort can sometimes occur, causing you to seek TMJ treatment from a dentist near you.
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
There are various causes of TMJ disorders. Most common include arthritis, physical injury, autoimmune diseases, grinding or clenching your teeth when sleeping, dental surgery, and infections.
Genetic, hormonal, or environmental causes are also the reasons for TMJ disorders. For example, TMJ disorders frequently affect violinists more than others because these performers must hold the violin under the jaw. Women also experience TMJ disorders more than men causing researchers to look into the hormonal causes of this condition. While the precise reasons for TMJ disorders in women aren’t understood, researchers investigate the link between estrogen, the female hormone, and this specific problem.
Symptoms Associated with TMJ Disorders
The symptoms of TMJ disorders vary between patients. Some of the most common are:
- Pain : Pain when moving the jaw is the most apparent symptom of TMJ disorder. You may also experience headaches or migraines. Pain in the neck, back, and around the ear radiating to the cheeks is also a symptom. If you don’t experience pain near the jaw, dentists often look for other signs before diagnosing a TMJ disorder.
- Sounds : A common symptom of this condition is unusual popping, clicking, or grinding noises when eating, talking, or merely opening the mouth. The noises when moving the jaw are not familiar to TMJ disorders because they are relatively standard. You may need medical advice if the noises occur when moving the jaw with restricted movement or pain.
- Restricted Movement : You may experience locking the jaw, preventing your mouth from opening entirely or moving your jaw in specific directions, causing severe discomfort in everyday life.
TMJ Treatment From the Specialist
The dentist successfully treats TMJ disorders recommending self-care and lifestyle changes if you have mild to moderate symptoms. The dentist recommends lifestyle changes that may entail reducing the movement of your jaw by avoiding chewing gum, eating soft foods, and preventing clenching or tensing your jaw.
Simultaneously gentle exercises are also recommended to stretch your jaw and massage the affected joints on the jaw for help. Gentle exercises and rest are recommended to deal with the symptoms. You can obtain assistance from a healthcare professional on the most appropriate practices besides lifestyle changes that help ease TMJ symptoms. Moist heat and ice are also helpful to alleviate your discomfort.
Treatment for Existing Conditions
If pre-existing conditions are causing the TMJ disorder, your dentist may recommend more specific treatment options to relieve your symptoms. If bruxism is a cause of the TMJ disorder, the dentist recommends a customized mouthguard to help ease the symptoms.
You may receive steroid injections if degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis cause TMJ disorder. Short-term over-the-counter pain medications can also reduce your discomfort.
Surgery is always considered a last resort to correct damages to the temporomandibular joint. Therefore you must seek proper advice from the TMJ specialist near you before you embark on any measure to deal with this issue.
TMJ disorders are not severe conditions and usually pass away in a couple of months. You may experience minimal inconvenience, which dentists comfortably treat with conservative treatments.