Having pain and stiffness in your jaw is never a pleasant experience for anyone to go through. If you do, then it’s likely that you are suffering from a TMJ disorder.
A temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder affects the jaw muscles and facial nerves. People suffering from this mostly experience pain in or around the ear, neck aches, headaches, jaw muscles tenderness, jaw pain when chewing, yawning, or even biting. Aside from these, people even experience difficulty opening and closing their mouths and popping and clicking noises are often heard when opening the mouth.
The causes of TMJ may be due to arthritis, a misaligned bite, and jaw dislocation or injury. It is also known that stress is a factor and strenuous physical tasks, such as lifting heavy objects. Bruxism, also known as teeth clenching and grinding that usually happens at night, may also cause TMJ.
How It Is Diagnosed
There is no standard test to determine TMJ because some dental conditions may present the same symptoms. This is why people who suspect that they are suffering from this disorder are often assessed regarding their behaviours and psychological states. A dentist may also take x-rays and make a teeth cast to see how your bite fits. Moreover, your complete medical history may also be reviewed to find out any prior history that may lead to this condition.
How to Manage TMJ Pain
Despite the lack of a standard test to identify the condition, if you have no other dental and medical conditions that cause jaw pain, you can treat TMJ-related pain by eating softer food items instead. Applying ice packs on areas that hurt will also be helpful to reduce the pain. If you visit your dentist, they will likely advise you to avoid too many jaw movements.
If stress causes your condition to intensify, it is likely that you will be referred to a stress management therapy where you can learn techniques to relax and reduce stress. Soft tissue massage may also help the surrounding muscles and tissues to soften.
There are some people who suffer from TMJ who seek the help of chiropractic care because the experts can manipulate the joints to restore movement. You can even seek prescribed medicines to relieve pain, relax the muscles in the jaw, or help you sleep. There is also a more invasive medical treatment you can consider, especially if TMJ has become a huge issue in your life, such as opting for injections and jawbone and muscle structure surgery.
When it comes to treating TMJ, always remember that it can be a trial and error process. This is why it’s essential that you find an excellent dentist to help you out.
TMJ may seem to be a mystery by many people, but the good news is that you can manage and treat the pain that it causes. Having a good dentist by your side is also important, especially if you experience painful symptoms in the middle of the night. It’s good to have a reliable emergency dentist to go to at times like this.
Now that you know a few more facts about TMJ, you will be able to manage it better. If you haven’t had it checked, and you suspect you are suffering from a TMJ disorder, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
We are one of the best emergency dentists in Edmonton that can treat TMJ. We understand that dental emergencies can happen at any time. If it happens to you, make sure that you get in touch with us immediately to see how we can help!