Have you heard about your temporomandibular joint functioning as a sliding hinge to connect your jawbone to your skull? You may never have heard about it or have one TMJ joint on both sides of your jaw.
TMJ disorder, an issue affecting the temporomandibular joint, causes pain in the jaw joint in the muscles controlling jaw movement. Determining the precise reasons for TMJ disorders is challenging because the discomfort emanates from a combination of factors like genetics, jaw injury, arthritis, et cetera. For example, you may experience jaw pain if you habitually grind and clench your teeth when sleeping. However, people affected by this problem do not constantly develop TMJ disorders.
The discomfort associated with TMJ disorders is usually temporary and is best relieved using self-managed care and nonsurgical treatments. Surgery is generally a last resort considered after the failure of conservative therapies, but it sheds some patient’s pain in their jaws.
The symptoms of TMJ disorders include pain and tenderness in your jaw, discomfort in one or both temporomandibular joints, aching pain in and around the ears, chewing and pain when eating, aching facial pain, locking of the jaw joint, making you confront challenges when opening and closing your mouth.
You may also hear clicking sounds or grating sensations when opening and closing your mouth if you have a TMJ disorder. However, if you do not experience challenges moving your jaw or pain or clicking of the jaw joint, you will not need treatment for a TMJ disorder.
The TMJ joint combines sliding motions on a hinge action. The parts of the bones interacting in the joint have a cartilage cover separated by a tiny shock-absorbing disk to help keep the movement smooth. You may develop discomforting TMJ disorders from disk erosion or its movement out of proper alignment, arthritis damages the joint’s cartilage or the joint sustains damage from impacts or other blows. Unfortunately, the precise reasons for TMJ disorders remain unknown in many cases.
You must seek attention from your doctor or the dental office in Clearwater, FL, if you find opening and closing your jaw challenging because the doctor or the dentist can evaluate your situation to provide effective treatments.
Before you receive treatment from the TMJ therapy dentist near you, expect the professional to diagnose your condition after discussing your symptoms and examining your jaw. The dentist will listen to your jaw and feel it asking you to open and close your mouth. They also observe your jaw’s range of motion and press on areas around it to identify areas of pain and discomfort.
If the dentist suspects a problem, they may recommend dental x-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans to identify issues with the joint’s disk and the surrounding soft tissue.
TMJ disorders disappear without treatment in some cases. However, if your symptoms persist, the dentist near you will simultaneously suggest various treatment options.
TMJ treatment in Clearwater, FL, includes nonsurgical options like medications that help relieve pain associated with the condition. For example, the dentist might suggest pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, tricyclic antidepressants, and muscle relaxants in low doses to help you manage the discomfort.
Alternative therapies effective for TMJ disorders include occlusal splints because they help by wearing a soft and firm device over the teeth. However, the reasons why the devices help are not understood. Physical therapy with exercises to stretch and strengthen jaw muscles or using moist heat and ice are also suggested. Sometimes, you may benefit from counseling because it helps you understand the factors that aggravate your discomfort to help you avoid them. Some examples include teeth grinding and clenching, leaning on your chin, and biting fingernails.
You can also find relief from TMJ disorders using lifestyle and home remedies. For example, you can avoid overusing your jaw by eating soft foods, cutting food into smaller pieces, and refraining from chewing gum. Stretching and massaging also helps if you learn the exercises from the dentist or a physical therapist. Applying warm moist heat or ice on the area of discomfort also helps alleviate pain.
If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your jaw, it helps if you seek a remedy from General & Implant Dentistry specialists in providing TMJ therapy. In addition, it would help if you confronted the problem head-on using proven and effective treatments from TMJ specialists to lead an everyday life.