Millions of Americans suffer from a painful condition affecting the face and jaw known as a temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly called a TMJ disorder. The temporomandibular joint connects your skull to your jawbone. This joint is what allows us to eat, speak, sing, yawn, and more. So when something is awry with this joint that is essential to our daily lives, it can make your life miserable. Read on for what you need to know about TMJ disorder.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
TMJ Disorder affects more women than men. Although pinpointing the exact cause of this condition can be challenging, there are several known causes including:
- Erosion of the joint (leading to misalignment)
- Teeth grinding
- Jaw clenching
- Arthritis in the joint (cartilage damage)
- Structural problems with the jawbone
- Structural problems with the joint
- Accident or injury to the jaw
There is also an indication that other factors may play a role in the development of TMJ disorder. These may include:
- Ongoing stress
- Bad posture that adds strain on neck and face muscles
- Insufficient sleep
No matter the cause of your TMJ Disorder, the condition should not go untreated. Unfortunately severe, untreated cases of TMJ can lead to permanent problems affecting not only your jaw, but your hearing, balance, and even vision. If you suspect you have a TMJ disorder, schedule an appointment with the Dental Wellness Team in Coral Springs. Our experienced dentists have provided TMJ treatment to residents of Broward and Palm Beach County for more than a decade.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorder produces different symptoms in different people. The most common symptom of TMJ disorder is pain in the jaw and facial muscles. However, other symptoms may indicate there is a problem with the vital joint in your jaw. Symptoms may vary in severity, and include:
- Clicking jaw
- Popping sound in jaw
- Feeling as if your jaw has locked up
- Stiffness in facial muscles
- Change in alignment of teeth (malocclusion)
- Ear pain
- Vision problems
- Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Swelling in the face
- Difficulty in opening your mouth fully
Treatment for TMJ Disorder in Coral Springs
If you suspect you have TMJ disorder, we urge you to schedule an appointment with the Dental Wellness Team today. If your suspicions are correct, our expert dentists will devise a treatment plan, with steps that you can take immediately to begin experiencing relief.
If your symptoms are mild, minor lifestyle modifications can often help to alleviate your symptoms. Lifestyle modifications that may help ease your discomfort include:
- Reducing stress
- Avoiding certain hard foods and chewing gum
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever
- Massaging the sore muscles on your face and jaw
If your symptoms are more disruptive to your life, our dentists may recommend some additional therapies for TMJ including:
- Wearing a mouth guard at night to prevent grinding and clenching
- Steroid injections
- Gentle exercises of your face and jaw
In the most severe cases, where your jaw movement is restricted, surgery may be required to correct structural problems with the joint. Surgery for TMJ disorder is relatively rare and only recommended if all other non-surgical treatments have failed to give you relief.
Schedule an Appointment To Begin Treatment for TMJ
The Dental Wellness Team provides complete general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and restorative dentistry to individuals of all ages. To schedule an appointment for TMJ disorder treatment, call 954-796-3555, or request an appointment online.