Temporomandibular disorder is the pain in the temporomandibular joint, which connects the upper and lower jaw just in front of the ear. It is more common in females than males. Symptoms of TMJ disorder can include:
- Jaw pain while chewing, biting or yawning
- Stiff or locked jaw
- Sensitive teeth with no dental explanation
- Difficulty in opening and closing the mouth
- Clicking or grating noises when opening or closing the mouth
- Inability to fully open or close the mouth
- Pain or soreness (typically in the morning) in the jaw
TMJ can be many caused by many things including:
- Jaw trauma
- Overuse of the jaw muscles
- An injury from grinding teeth
- Dislocation of the disc that holds the jaw bone in the socket
- Jaw clenching
- Misalignment of the teeth and jaw (also called malocclusion)
Simple treatments such as using aspirin or icing the jaw can be helpful. Sticking your tongue in between your teeth can also prevent you from clenching your jaw at night. You should also avoid excess chewing and eat soft foods if you have these symptoms. If this only brings you minor relief, you should see a dentist.
Once you have been diagnosed with TMJ there are a few different treatment options and ways to manage the pain. Mouth guards or dental splints can be worn at night to prevent the stress you put on the joint while sleeping. They also prevent grinding of teeth and make it more difficult to clench your jaw. Another option is bite therapy, which analyzes the cause of the misalignment or stress. It can find the cause of your pain and help you discover how to get permanent relief. Exercises can relax the jaw and reduce clenching; they can also teach you how to control your jaw muscles.
If you think you ma have TMJ disease call at 262.484.4356 or email APPT@ModernFamilyDenitists.com to end your suffering today!