Are you struggling with jaw pain that just won’t quit, making everyday life unbearable? More often than not, facial and jaw pain is linked to an essential point that joins your jaw to the skull called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint acts like a hinge, allowing the movement of lower jaws. When things do not go as they should in the TMJ, you will feel pain and a click or pop sound in the joint; this condition is known as TMJ disorder.
Brief Introduction to TMJ Disorder
They cause discomfort in the jaw joint and the muscles that control the movement of the lower jaw. Pinpointing the exact cause of a TMJ disorder is quite difficult since the reasons may range from genetics like arthritis or stem from a jaw injury.
Another common reason is the involuntary jaw grinding known to be bruxism. This habitual clenching and grinding of teeth can make a person susceptible to developing this condition.
In most cases, the pain from a TMJ disorder is temporary and manageable. Many individuals find relief through dental treatments and self-care practices.
What Does It Feel Like To Have TMJ Disorder?
You may feel the following changes happening in your body:
- Tenderness, discomfort, or swelling in the jaw joint
- Pain pulsating through the neck and shoulders
- Persistent headaches
- Recurrent toothaches
- Facial muscle pain
- Swelling on either side of the face
- Ear pain
- Discomfort or pain during chewing
- An uncomfortable bite
- Hearing problems
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Difficulty opening or closing the mouth (locked jaw)
- Grating or clicking sounds when opening and closing the mouth
Mouthguard and Its Role in Easing TMJ Pain
Investing in a mouthguard is a good option since it offers multiple advantages. Firstly, these custom-made guards offer protection against tooth damage. Other than that, they also address various symptoms such as jaw pain, tenderness, earaches, and difficulties in chewing. A tailor-made design ensures a higher level of comfort and durability compared to alternative options.
If your problems stem from bruxism (involuntary teeth clenching and grinding), TMJ mouthguards provide relief by relaxing the jaw and facial muscles. This, in turn, reduces muscle spasms and lessens pain in the teeth, jaw, head, face, and neck. In case of jaw misalignment or underdevelopment, a custom mouthguard might even restore your natural bite.
Regardless of your concern, a mouthguard made especially according to your oral cavity promotes better sleep at night, preventing further damage.
The first step towards managing your TMJ pain that makes you feel off and disconnected is knowing the symptoms and causes that can take you toward the right treatment. Whether through nonsurgical means or the use of custom mouthguards, there are viable options to eliminate the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders.
If you have more queries, feel free to contact Dr. Rosita Hamidi, a graduate of the University of Texas Dental Branch, Houston, at Smile Time Dental. Visit our clinic or call us at (281) 245-0711 to schedule a same-day appointment.