What is TMJ Disorder and How can I Treat it?

TMJ Disorder? TMJ — the Temporomandibular joint — connects side of the face to the jawbone. If you place your finger on your cheek in front of your ear, you can feel TMJ in action. Now, try this with both your left and right sides. Apply some pressure.

Notice if you feel, or have experienced any of the following symptoms:

Jaw tenderness and pain
Pain around the ears
Difficulty with chewing
Locking of the jaw when opening mouth (popping noise may occur)

If you experience any of these, you may have TMJ Disorder. The most common cause of TMJ Disorder is due to grinding teeth.

Grinding the teeth (sometimes called Bruxism) can cause serious damage to both the teeth and jaw. The problem is, tooth grinding often occurs uncontrollably during sleep due to stress. While you may not experience any painful symptoms now, this unconscious grinding can lead to further repercussions such as the following:

Cracked teeth
Painful Jaw
Inability to chew or open and close the mouth

Additional TMJ Causes:

Improper alignment due to dentures, fillings, or uneven teeth
Improper alignment of the teeth

TMJ Pain Relief

Here at Morrin Dental, we will work with you to provide a customized treatment to reduce symptoms, provide permanent solutions and /or long-term care, and protect your teeth. Treatment may include the following:

Exercises to strengthen muscles and reduce stiffness
Provision of a protective occlusal splint
Provision of short-term medication to reduce inflammation
Slight occlusal adjustment to balance the bite

Temporary Tips for TMJ Pain:

Massage the temples
Stress Relievers to relax the jaw and entire body (meditation, anxiety treatment, etc.)
Eat soft foods
Avoid opening the mouth wide
Be mindful of clenching and triggers that cause you to clench
Avoid chewing gum

TMJ issues will only worsen if left untreated. Without treatment, chewing that steak will remain painful, the headaches will persist, and the excruciating jaw pain will continue. It is not worth putting off the problem when your teeth and jaw are vital and irreplaceable.

Please feel free to contact us today to set up your appointment to learn how to protect your teeth and live a life free of TMJ pain.

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