It has been an exhausting day, and you are ready to call it a night. Your mouth begins to open wide for a big yawn when suddenly your jaw snaps shut as a result of the immense pain radiating through it. What could this be? This could be a sign of TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) dysfunction. If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from jaw pain, let a dentist in West Bloomfield explain the symptoms of TMJ and the possible solutions to find relief.
What is TMJ?
The joints that connect your skull and lower jaw are known as “Temporomandibular Joint” (TMJ), and when they become inflamed or damaged, the result is TMJ Disorder, also known as TMD.
What Are the Symptoms?
If you are unsure if you have TMJ, it can be hard to diagnose because the symptoms often disguise themselves as other problems. Well, that’s not good! While it is important to talk to your dentist so he or she can provide a proper diagnosis, the following signs may indicate TMJ:
- Jaw pain
- Neck pain
- Clicking or popping of the jaw when opening and closing the mouth
- Limited jaw mobility
What Can Cause TMJ?
When it comes to TMJ, there are not only many symptoms, but there are also a wide variety of causes. Here are just a few:
- Malocclusion (misaligned bite)
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Chronic stress
- Hormonal variations in women
How Can You Treat TMJ?
According to the TMJ Association (TMJA), there are close to 50 treatment methods, so receiving TMJ therapy in West Bloomfield is a great place to start! Some options for treatment may include:
- Pain Medication: Taking a muscle relaxer, an over-the-counter pain reliever, or anti-inflammatory medicine may eliminate muscle spasms and pain.
- Jaw exercises: Performing strengthening and stretching exercises with your mouth may prevent TMJ pain from returning. Simply moving your jaw as much as possible, making sure you do not cause yourself any additional discomfort, is one great way to stretch it.
- Splint: Personalized and placed by your dentist, these can prevent teeth grinding or clenching in the middle of the night, reducing pain and other symptoms. You may also be interested to know they can realign your bite, too.
- Relaxing: If you are having trouble relaxing, it may be beneficial to see a counselor about your stress. Controlling muscle tension in your jaw can prevent TMJ pain from coming back.
Now that you are more well-informed about TMJ, talk to your dentist to determine the underlying cause and various treatment options. You’ll be pain-free before you know it!
About the Practice
If you are experiencing TMJ disorder, the team at Lakeview Family Dental can treat the disorder with unobtrusive mouth guards, allowing you to achieve the relief you need. Our goal is to meet your dentistry needs using the latest dental technologies. If you have questions about TMJ or any of our other services, contact us via our website or call (248) 363-3304.