TMJ And TMD
DO I HAVE TMD?
As you talk, eat, and open your mouth, you are using your temporomandibular joints (TMJ). Both of these joints are where your lower jaw is connected to your skull and the hinge movement allows your jaw to open and close. In a perfect world, your TMJs are aligned and working great all the time; nevertheless, some people have serious problems with their jaw. Also called TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), TMJ disorder can vary from persistent pain in your jaw to difficulty opening and closing your mouth.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF TMD?
TMD (TMJ disorder) is caused when a lot of physical stress is placed on and around the jaw joints. This may be the result of arthritis a misaligned bite (dental malocclusion), bruxism (grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw), in addition to a bone disease or a tumor on your jaw. There are currently many clinical studies trying to determine the particular cause of TMJ disorder. Research has discovered that TMJ disorder is more common in women, particularly between the ages of 20 – 40 years old.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF TMD?
A few of the most frequent symptoms of TMJ disorder are jaw pain, headaches, and unusual noises when opening or closing your mouth. In case you have one or more of the signs of TMJ disorder recorded below, set up an appointment with a dentist in Pewaukee, WI when possible for diagnosis and treatment.
- NOISES WHEN YOU OPEN YOUR JAW
If you open or close your jaw, would you notice a popping or clicking noise? This is sometimes the result of a displaced disc in your jaw. The misplace disc inhibits jaw movement and can result in your jaw getting stuck.
- CHRONIC HEADACHES
If you have chronic headaches or migraines and a doctor can't discover a cause, you might ask your dentist to assess your jaw. Chronic headaches are common with TMJ disorder, which may be caused by teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
- YOUR JAW MAY FEEL STUCK
In the case that you feel a little like the Tin Man trying hard to open his mouth enough to ask for his oil can, you may have TMJ disorder. Your jaw could be difficult to open and/or close, which makes eating and speaking very difficult. In some people, the jaw may get locked temporarily.
- SWELLING IN YOUR LOWER FACE
One of the most visible symptoms of TMJ disorder is swelling along your jaw and throughout your lower face. The inflammation due to TMJ disorder can make the lower area of your face look puffy and swollen, especially along your jaw muscles.
- JAW OR EAR PAIN
Most patients with TMJ disorder will experience some amount of pain in the jaw. This may be mild or severe based on your particular condition, but it is going to be consistent. Many patients also notice pain in their ears. The TMJ is situated close to the ears, so the pain can spread and feel similar to an earache. If your normal physician has ruled out an ear infection, ask your Pewaukee, WI dentist to test for TMJ disorder.
- TENDER MUSCLES IN THE JAW
Clenching your jaw, either at night or during the day, may result in sore jaw muscles. In case your jaw muscles feel tender or sore even though you haven't been smiling or speaking a whole lot, it might be an indication of TMJ disorder.
HOME TMJ DISORDER REMEDIES
- RELAXATION METHODS
If your jaw muscles feel sore, you may try relaxation techniques, such as meditation or mindfulness. Consult your Pewaukee, WI dentist about relaxation strategies that might help soften your jaw muscles and eradicate some symptoms of your TMJ disorder.
- JAW STRENGTHENING EXERCISES
Along with relaxation methods, your dentist may give you exercises to do at home that will help strengthen your jaw muscles. Jaw strengthening exercises will help stretch your muscles to alleviate the stiffness related to TMJ disorder.
- OVER-THE-COUNTER PAIN MEDICINE
For short-term relief of jaw pain caused by TMJ disorder, you may choose to take non-prescription pain relievers. Over-the-counter pain relievers might help if your jaw is swollen, sore, or tender; nonetheless, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist in Pewaukee, WI to go over long-term treatments.
- LIQUID OR SOFT FOOD DIET
TMJ will make it difficult to bite and chew solid foods, so several people with TMJ disorder find some comfort by following a liquid or soft foods diet. This treatment is generally better for short-term use as you are waiting to get a diagnosis from your dentist because it can be difficult to acquire adequate nourishment from only liquids and soft foods.
PROFESSIONAL TMJ DISORDER REMEDIES
- BOTOX INJECTIONS
Though most people consider BOTOX injections as a way to eliminate wrinkles, it has several medical uses. Employing a purified form of botulism, BOTOX injections can be placed in the jaw to temporarily relax the muscles. BOTOX injections should be performed by a knowledgeable dentist in Pewaukee, WI and you will need to receive them every few months to maintain effects.
- NIGHT MOUTH GUARD
For those who grind their teeth and clench their jaw through the night, a night guard can help treat TMJ disorder. Night guards can be purchased online and in stores, but for maximum relief and comfort, it is better to get a custom night guard created by a dentist in Pewaukee, WI. Made from digital or physical dental impressions, a custom-made night guard protects your teeth from grinding and keeps your jaw relaxed while you sleep.
- PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION
Depending on the root cause of your TMJ disorder, a dentist in Pewaukee, WI could suggest a prescription medication for pain, anxiety, or inflammation. Once your dentist decides the cause of your TMJ disorder, they may write a prescription for a medication to help reduce swelling and relax your jaw muscles or alleviate your pain.
END JAW PAIN WITH TMJ TREATMENT
For those who have pain in your jaw or other signs of TMJ disorder, make an appointment with your dentist in Pewaukee, WI to get a diagnosis and treatment. At DentalWorks - Pewaukee, we offer night guards and other TMJ remedies to match the needs of our patients in Pewaukee, WI. Speak to our office in Pewaukee, WI to make an examination and consultation so we can create your individualized TMJ disorder treatment plan.
* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.