All that you need to know about Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Pain in the face, jaw or other structures, is usually associated with TMJ. Since a lot of people do not know about TMJ, it becomes very difficult for them to deal with it. If you are experiencing excruciating pain in your jaw or other facial muscles, it could be indicative of TMJ disorder. Visiting the right dentist like Huntington Family Dental can help you understand, diagnose and treat TMJ disorders.

What is TMJ disorder?

There are several complex joints and bone structures in our face. The different forms of sliding and disk joints between the bones ensure proper facial movement. However, sometimes such joints may not function properly. This could cause you to feel pain in your facial muscles and joints. Temporomandibular Joint disorder, also known as TMJ, is one such disorder that affects the joints of your facial bones.

The temporomandibular joint is a hinge joint connecting your upper and lower jaw to your skull. If this joint is affected in some way, it causes pain in your jaw. TMJ disorder usually causes pain in the joints between your jaw and your skull. TMJ disorders are also known to cause pain in the muscles responsible for jaw movement. Usually, the pain associated with TMJ is temporary and goes away with simple treatments. However, in severe cases, there could be surgery required.

Symptoms of TMJ

Facial pain could be caused due to a wide range of factors such as injury, arthritis, clenching of the jaw or other reasons. Therefore, it is often difficult to determine whether or not you have TMJ. However, there are some symptoms that are clearly indicative of TMJ. These are:

  • Pain in your jaw
  • Pain in the joints attaching your jaw to the skull(temporomandibular joints)
  • Pain around your ears
  • Facial and nerve pain
  • Difficulty in opening or closing of your mouth
  •  Difficulty in chewing food
  • Clicking or grating sensation every time you open your mouth

Causes of TMJ

There could be various causes of TMJ disorder. It is difficult to determine the exact cause of TMJ disorder in a person. However, there are a few potential reasons that could cause TMJ disorder:

  • Misalignment of your teeth or jaw
  • The habit of grinding of teeth
  • Clenching your teeth when anxious
  • Injury to the trigeminal nerve
  • Excessive chewing of gum

If you are experiencing excruciating pain in your mouth and have a lot of difficulty chewing, seek medical help from dentists like Huntington Family Dental as soon as possible.

Treatment options for TMJ

The pain associated with TMJ is often temporary and goes away with simple exercises. However, if the symptoms continue to exist, you have a variety of treatment options for TMJ to choose from:

  • Medication: There are a lot of medication options available to help you deal with the pain associated with Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. Pain relievers, muscle relaxants and, anti-inflammatory meds are commonly used to deal with the symptoms. There are several over-the-counter medications that you can choose from, too. However, in cases where an over-the-counter drug isn’t working, you can always visit a dentist to get prescribed with stronger medication
  • Non-medicinal Therapy: There are several therapies that could help with TMJ too. Mouth-guards and oral splinters are known to relieve jaw pain. There are several physical therapies that could help you deal with TMJ too. Exercises to increase the strength and flexibility of the jaw muscles have been found to be quite helpful. Sometimes moist heat or ice can also be a good non-medicinal option to deal with the symptoms of TMJ.
  • Surgery: If medication and exercise don’t work for you, you might need to go to a doctor for surgical treatments. The surgical treatments for TMJ include joint surgery and arthroscopy, among others. TMJ implants are also becoming a popular mode of treatment nowadays. Going for a surgical procedure might seem risky. However, surgery has been found to be very beneficial for people suffering from TMJ disorder.

If you have been experiencing jaw pain, or difficulty in opening and closing your mouth, it is possible that you are suffering from TMJ disorder. However, there is no reason to worry. There are several treatment options available for TMJ these days. It is, however, crucial to consult a reliable dentist before deciding on a suitable treatment option for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. The services provided by Huntington Family Dental are unmatched when it comes to TMJ disorders. If you or your loved ones are experiencing the symptoms of TMJ disorder, make sure you consult your dentist today.

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