WHAT IS TMJ DISORDER?
As you speak, chew, and yawn, then you're utilizing your TMJ (temporomandibular joints). These two joints will be where your mandible is attached to your skull along with the hinge motion enables the jaw to open and shut. In an ideal world, the TMJs are even and functioning great all of the time; however, some individuals have significant problems with their teeth. Also known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), TMJ disorder may range from chronic pain in your jaw to difficulty opening and shutting your mouth.
WHAT CAUSES TMJ DISORDER?
TMJ disorder is caused when too much physical strain is put on and near the jaw joints. This might be the result of arthritis dental malocclusion (a misaligned bite), bruxism, also known as teeth grinding and jaw clenching, as well as a bone disorder or a tumor in your jaw. There are many clinical studies trying to ascertain the specific reason for TMJ disorder. Studies have found that TMJ disorder occurs more frequently in women, particularly among the ages of 20 – 40 years old.
WHAT ARE SOME SIGNS OF TMJ DISORDER?
Some of the most common signs of TMJ disorder are pain in your jaw, headache, and unusual sounds when closing or opening your mouth. If you've got one or more of these indicators of TMJ disorder listed below, schedule a consultation with a dentist at Wake Forest, NC as soon as possible for treatment and diagnosis.
- SOUNDS WHEN YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH
When you close or open your jaw, do you hear a clicking or popping sound? This can be the effect of a misplaced disc within your jaw. The displaced disc inhibits jaw motion and can lead to your jaw becoming unable to move.
- SORE MUSCLES IN THE JAW
Jaw clenching, either during the night or throughout the day, can lead to sore jaw joints. If your jaw feels sore or tender though you have not really been grinning or talking a lot, it may be a symptom of TMJ disorder.
- YOUR JAW FEELS UNABLE TO MOVE
If you are feeling a bit similar to the Tin Man struggling to open his mouth in order to request his can of oil, you might have TMJ disorder. Your jaw may be hard to open or close, making eating and talking very hard. In some individuals, the jaw can get blocked temporarily.
- PERSISTENT HEADACHES
when you've got persistent migraines or headaches and a physician cannot find a reason, you may ask your dental professional to evaluate your jaw. Headaches are typical in association to TMJ disorder, which might be brought on by tooth grinding and clenching of your jaw.
- INFLAMMATION IN THE LOWER PORTION OF YOUR FACE
Among the most visible indicators of TMJ disorder is inflammation across your jaw and in your lower face area. The swelling caused by TMJ disorder will make your lower face look bloated and inflamed, particularly around your jaw joints.
- EAR OR JAW PAIN
Most individuals with TMJ disorder may feel a certain degree of pain at the jaw. This might be severe or mild depending upon your specific condition, but it will be persistent. Most individuals also feel discomfort within their ears. The temporomandibular joint is located near the ears, so the inflammation may spread and feel like an earache. If your regular doctor has ruled out an ear infection, then ask your Wake Forest, NC dentist to check for TMJ disorder.
AT-HOME TMJ TREATMENTS
- LIQUID OR SOFT FOOD DIET
TMJ can make it tough to chew and bite solid foods, so many individuals with TMJ disorder find relief by abiding by a soft or liquid diet. This therapy is typically better for brief usage while you're waiting to get a diagnosis from your own dentist since it may be difficult to get adequate nourishment from just soft foods and liquids.
- NON-PRESCRIPTION PAIN RELIEVERS
As a short-term alleviation of jaw pain caused by TMJ disorder, you might want to take over-the-counter pain relievers. Non-prescription pain medications can help in case your jaw is inflamed, tender, or sore; however, you must schedule a consultation with your dental professional in Wake Forest, NC to discuss long-term remedies.
- JAW STRENGTHENING EXERCISES
In addition to relaxation techniques, your dentist can provide you exercises to complete within your home which will help fortify your muscles. Exercises to strengthen your jaw can help extend your muscles to alleviate the stiffness associated with TMJ disorder.
- RELAXATION TECHNIQUES
When your jaw joints are sore, then you might try relaxation methods, like mindfulness and meditation. Ask your Wake Forest, NC dentist about relaxation techniques that may help relax your jaw and also improve side effects of your TMJ disorder.
IN-OFFICE TMJ TREATMENTS
Although most people today think of BOTOX as a means to get rid of wrinkles, it has several medical applications. Using a purified type of botulism, BOTOX shots can be put in the jaw area to temporarily loosen the muscles. BOTOX injections must be performed by an experienced dentist in Wake Forest, NC and you will have to receive them every couple of weeks to keep results.
- PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE
Based on the underlying cause of the TMJ disorder, your dentist in Wake Forest, NC may recommend a prescription medicine for pain, nervousness, or swelling. As soon as your dentist determines the origin of your TMJ disorder, they might provide a prescription for some medicine to help reduce inflammation and relax your muscles or even to relieve your pain.
- NIGHTIME GUARD
For patients who experience teeth grinding and jaw clenching at nighttime, a night guard helps remedy TMJ disorder. Night guards are available online and in shops, but for maximum relief and relaxation, it's much better to receive a customized nighttime guard made by a dentist in Wake Forest, NC. Created from physical or digital impressions, a personalized nighttime protector protects against teeth grinding and leaves your jaw relaxed as you sleep.
END PAIN IN YOUR JAW WITH TMD THERAPY
If you have jaw pain or other symptoms of TMJ disorder, schedule a consultation with your dentist in Wake Forest, NC to get a diagnosis and therapy. At DentalWorks - Wake Forest, we provide nighttime guards and other TMJ therapies to fit the requirements of our patients in Wake Forest, NC. Contact our office in Wake Forest, NC to schedule an evaluation and appointment so we can create your personalized TMJ disorder therapy program.