What you Should Know about TMJ Disorders

Facial and jaw pain can be excruciating and you would wish it disappears in one blink. However, depending on the cause of the pain, it can usually last for a while until treated. Most facial pain is associated with the temporomandibular joint, the joint which connects the upper and lower jaw bones.  When this joint fails to function properly, you might be suffering from the symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Keep reading to learn more about this disorder:

TMJ Symptoms

TMJ disorders can cause a grating sensation every time you chew or open your mouth. But, the following are the most common symptoms of this problem:

  • Jaw pain or tenderness.
  • Temporomandibular joints pain.
  • Ear pain.
  • Problem chewing
  • Facial pain.
  • Jaw lock.
  • Facial swelling
  • Neck or shoulder pain.
  • Toothaches
  • Headaches

Possible Causes of TMJ Disorders

Although the symptoms of TMJ disorders are usually easy to recognize, it is harder to determine the cause of the pain. Determining the cause of your TMJ disorder is vital to identify the right treatment for you. Possible causes include the following:

  • Teeth grinding and jaw clenching. The habits can put a lot of stress on the jaw and result in a TMJ disorder.
  • Arthritis. Just like other body joints, arthritis can develop in your TMJ. Arthritis is commonly associated with aging but it could run in your family.
  • Jaw Injury. No matter how you injured your jaw, it can result in a TMJ disorder.

Other causes of TMJ disorders include infection, autoimmune disease, dental surgery, and slouching. Also, untreated worn, chipped, or cracked teeth can lead to a TMJ disorder.

Treatment for TMJ Disorders

There are a lot of treatment options for TMJ. You will have to begin dealing with it at home. Home remedies can include eating soft foods, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines, avoiding unnecessary jaw movements, putting moist heat or cold packs on your jaw, and more. However, if you have tried all home remedies and still don’t get the relief you need, you should see a doctor right away. Your doctor will usually prescribe pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medications, or muscle relaxers.  They may also recommend that you use oral splints or mouth guards or refer you to a physical therapist. If these options still don’t work, they will suggest surgery or other procedures such as TMJ arthroscopy, open joint surgery, or modified condylotomy.

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