You use your TMJ all the time to talk, to chew, to yawn. It’s the abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint, which you have on both sides of your face. So TMJ in itself is not the issue. It’s when you’re experiencing pain in your TMJ that the problems can begin. More than anything, you could find that your quality of life is reduced. As we just said, you use your TMJs all the time, so if you’re experiencing discomfort, then you’ll be acutely aware of it. The good news is that there’s always something that you can do to alleviate the pain. In this blog, we’re going to run through TMJ syndrome, what it is, what causes it, treatment options, and more.
What Causes TMJ Syndrome?
The TMJ is sensitive and can be affected by any number of issues. Some of these are connected to the body as a whole; others are due to external trauma that damages the jaw. You may experience TMJ syndrome if you have any of the following:
- Osteoarthritis or other arthritic conditions
- Missing teeth — this can cause an imbalance in the chewing structure, which can put stress on your TMJ.
- Night teeth grinding. This puts a lot of pressure on your TMJ.
- Diseases related to the inner or middle ear.
- A history of trauma to the jaw.
Symptoms of TMJ Syndrome
You’ll know if you have problems with your TMJ because it’ll impact your quality of life. It’s a good idea to be aware of the common symptoms of TMJ syndrome. These can include:
- Pain in the jaw area — or sometimes in the ear and broad face region.
- Getting headaches, feeling pressure behind the eyes, or getting earaches.
- Inflammation of the face.
- Your jaw clicks or pops when you open or close your mouth.
- Your jaw feels tender.
- You experience locking of the jaw.
How is TMJ Syndrome Diagnosed?
A professional dentist can help diagnose the presence of TMJ syndrome. During the dental examination, the dentist will feel the area around the jaw and look for any signs of irregular function.
Treatment for TMJ Syndrome
The good news is that you don’t have to live with TMJ syndrome problems. There are plenty of non-invasive, effective treatment methods to help treat it. Additionally, there are exercises that can strengthen your jaw muscles and medications that can help to relax your jaw muscles. If your problem is because of night teeth grinding, then a mouthguard can be effective. It’s best to consult with a dentist, who will be able to advise the best solutions.
If you suspect that you may have issues with your TMJ, then it’s important that you’re making an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible. Luckily, at Smile Time Dental, we have plenty of experience in helping patients just like you to overcome their dental-related afflictions. You can make an appointment by giving us a call at (281) 245-0711 or by clicking the ‘Request an Appointment button at the top of this page.