The temporomandibular joint where the skull and jawbone intersect plays a crucial role in your ability to chew and talk. When you develop problems affecting the joint, we refer to them as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD or TMJ). Some patients have an abnormality that causes the joint to slide out of position. The condition is relatively common and affects about three thousand people each year in the United States alone. However, the pain you experience due to the problem can make it hard to get through a typical day. When you develop any form of temporomandibular disorder, you need to seek TMJ Treatment in Jasper. In this article, we provide you with all the information you need about TMJ to help you make the right decision about your situation.
What Causes TMJ?
Many different factors can put you at risk for developing TMJ. The most significant risk factor comes in when you create an injury that affects your jaw. You can also develop the disorder if you have arthritis. Additionally, you can easily develop the condition if you clench or grind your teeth.
While these are not the only risk factors for TMJ, they contribute significantly to developing the problem in many patients.
What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?
Different patients show different symptoms for TMJ, which vary depending on the severity of the disorder. In most patients, TMD may present itself in the form of achiness and pain concentrated around the intersection point of the jaw and skull. You may also experience trouble eating, speaking, or opening your jaw completely. It may affect one or both sides of your face. Other common symptoms include a clicking or popping sound when you open your mouth and swelling.
In severe cases of TMJ, you can develop earache and tension headaches together with pain in the shoulders and neck.
When you develop a temporomandibular joint disorder, you can opt for different treatment options depending on your dentist’s recommendation.
If you have a mild case of TMD, you can treat it at home with some self-care and lifestyle changes. Some of the most effective self-care treatments include limiting the movement of the jaw. You can also exercise by stretching the jaw slightly or massaging the affected area. Both rest and mild exercise can also help. Your dentist can recommend the most effective exercise and lifestyle changes you should make to ease the symptoms.
If your TMJ results from an existing condition, treating it can help treat TMJ. For example, if you have TMJ caused by clenching or grinding your teeth, using a mouth guard recommended by a dentist can help. Your dentist will effectively treat the problem if your TMJ results from a degenerative condition such as osteoarthritis.
As you wait to see a dentist, you can take over-the-counter pain medications to reduce the pain or discomfort.
To summarize, temporomandibular disorder affects the area where the skull meets the jaw. It can come from different factors such as injury, arthritis, and grinding, or clenching your teeth. Common symptoms include pain around the affected area, difficulty talking or chewing, and tension headaches in severe cases. Your dentist can recommend an ideal treatment through self-care, lifestyle, changes, medication, or surgery.