TMJ Disorders Cause Grinding, JAW STIFFNESS, AND OTHER SYMPTOMS
Patients may have trouble opening their mouths. They may experience limited movement or a locking sensation when partly opening their jaws.
Facial Pain & Headaches
TMJ disorders can cause symptoms ranging from tenderness in the jaw and chin to pain in the neck and shoulders. Patients often experience headaches as well.
Healthy jaw joints make sound from time to time, but TMJ disorders can cause an increase in the frequency or volume of pops and clicks. A grinding feeling often accompanies these noises.
Stress, Misalignment, and Other Factors THAT CAN TRIGGER A TMJ DISORDER
Although stress might not cause a TMJ disorder on its own, it certainly exacerbates symptoms.
When the upper and lower jaws do not meet properly, it can place a huge amount of stress on the TMJs.
Injury or Arthritis
A jaw injury can substantially affect TMJ function. Arthritis can also contribute to a TMJ disorder.
Are TMJ disorders very common?
So How Can I PREVENT SYMPTOMS FROM WORSENING?
During times of stress the symptoms of TMJ disorders tend to become more noticeable. Many patients find relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga to be helpful in managing pain.
Avoid Chewing Gum
Chewing gum activates the muscles that become inflamed by TMJ disorders, spurring the cycle of clenching and grinding. Consider avoiding gum chewing and eat softer foods.
Proper Posture & Stretching
Poor posture, tight shoulders, and a stiff neck can contribute to TMJ. Taking time during the day to massage and carefully stretch the muscles around the jaws may dissipate some of the pain temporarily but it is important to schedule an appointment at Elegant Dental Care so Dr Sohn can identify the problem and recommend a treatment plan.
Your Doctor Will Perform an Exam& TAKE YOUR MEDICAL HISTORY
Dr Sohn can diagnose TMJ disorders with a simple visit to Elegant Dental Care. He will discuss your symptoms and examine your teeth and jaw, checking for signs of grinding and tender areas.
In some cases, further testing, such as an MRI maybe required to identify any damage to the soft cartilage that cushions.
Modern TMJ Disorder Treatments ARE EVEN MORE EFFECTIVE
Also known as occlusal splints, dental splints, or bite guards, oral appliances are worn during sleep. These customized devices improve alignment and prevent teeth from grinding.
Orthodontics & Restorative Dentistry
Substantial misalignment may require conventional braces or clear braces like Sure Smile® and Invisalign®, or another type of orthodontic correction. Restoring worn teeth with dental crowns and replacing missing teeth with implants may also help.
Injections & Other Medications
Some patients respond positively to BOTOX® therapy or steroid injections. Muscle relaxers, benzodiazepines, and other depressants might also be recommended.
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that can remove damaged tissue within the jaw joint. In the most severe cases, total joint replacement might be needed.
A Medical Professional Can Provide Relief
TMJ disorders can be incredibly frustrating, but they are treatable. Many cases will not resolve without professional intervention. Speak with your doctor today about the best way to stop your symptoms for good.