If your jaw is tender and chewing becomes uncomfortable, a dentist can determine if its if it’s from an issue like a cavity, or if it’s temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Many people are familiar with toothaches, but they may not everyone knows about TMJ. Here’s some helpful information regarding the condition if you’re experiencing mouth discomfort.
What are the Causes & Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?
The temporomandibular joints connect both sides of the jaw bone to the skull. When this structure becomes damaged, you may experience symptoms including general jaw pain, spasms, swelling, and aching in the face and ears. You may also notice the jaw locking. The causes of TMJ disorders can include a traumatic jaw injury, arthritis damaging the cartilage, or chronic teeth grinding and clenching when sleeping. Also, if you have a family history of the condition, that may increase your risk for developing it.
How Can You Prevent & Treat This Condition?
To prevent TMJ disorders, dentists recommend managing stress and anxiety levels that can lead to teeth grinding and clenching. Massaging your jaw and cheeks regularly, balancing chewing on both sides, taking smaller bites, and sticking to a diet of softer foods can also prevent joint problems.
Individuals who continue to experience symptoms should visit their dentist for X-rays. Treatments for TMJ disorders can include a night guard to prevent grinding when you sleep, physical therapy, and muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory medication to reduce discomfort. When the practices above fail to alleviate pain, a doctor may recommend surgery or corticosteroid injections.
Are you looking for a compassionate dentist to diagnose your jaw pain? If so, Timber Drive Dental, Inc. is the ideal general dentistry practice for you. Led by Dr. Paco Fralick, this office has been serving residents throughout Oneida County, WI, for over two decades. To schedule an appointment, call (715) 365-1800. For more information about their services, visit their website.