Temporomandibular joint, otherwise known as TMJ, is a painful disorder of the nerves and jaw muscles. It is often times caused by injury directly associated with the temporomandibular joint, located between the skull, and the jawbone.
Signs, Symptoms, and Risk Factors
Symptoms of TMJ can be very painful, and include pain with chewing, popping in the jaw, headaches, tooth grinding, clicking, and inflammation. Other symptoms include ear pain, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, sore jaw and neck muscles, facial pain, cheek pain, chin numbness, shoulder pain, and locking of the jaw. These painful symptoms vary in intensity, and there are several risk factors involved. Risk factors for TMJ include neck and back strain from poor posture, age, jaw trauma, poorly positioned teeth, and chronic inflammatory disorders. Individuals who have the predisposition to pain increased stress, and sensitivity may also be at greater risk of developing TMJ.
The causes for TMJ are not yet fully understood, yet there are many factors may contribute. These factors may include arthritis, excessive chewing, inflammatory disorders, stress, anxiety, musculoskeletal disorders, poor posture, bruxism (tooth grinding), and trauma.
Making a Diagnosis
Your medical history will be viewed, along with a physical examination. An otolaryngologist, maxillofacial specialist, or a dental professional may confirm a diagnosis. Do you have a relentless migraine? Do you often wake up with jaw pain, mouth pain, or tooth pain? Do you grind your teeth, or have sensitive teeth? Are looking for the treatment that will work for you? Dr. Barkhordar and his caring staff can help you find relief.
Although your TMJ symptoms requiring treatment may vary, there are two main culprits including teeth grinding, and jaw clenching. Tooth grinding wears down your teeth, leading to problems eating, and extensive dental issues. Jaw clenching causing soreness and pain in your jaw, and sometimes jaw lock.
For temporary relief, apply moist cold or heat packs to the side of your face for approximately 10 minutes at a time. Make sure to eat soft foods such as beans, vegetables, and fruits. You may also use an OTC NSAID such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. If you are experiencing immediate pain, try to avoid extreme jaw movement such as keeping yawning and chewing to a minimum. Avoid resting your chin on your hand, or holding your phone between your ear and shoulder. Practice maintaining good posture, which may reduce neck and back pain. Learn relaxation techniques to help you control your muscle tension and ask your dental professional about the possible need for physical therapy.
Our office offers you a greater solution to TMJ symptoms, through custom-made mouth guards. The mouth guards offered serve as headache treatment options, as well as relieves pain from both tooth grinding, and jaw clenching. It works to diligently keep your teeth separated during your full sleep cycle. You may also need to undergo corrective dental treatment. This may include corrections such as replacing missing teeth or using crowns, bridges, or braces to balance your biting surfaces. If you are seeking headache treatment or TMJ treatment options, please contact the office of Dr. Barkhordar. Together we can find a solution to fit your individual needs.