If you need relief from TMJ pain, your dental team can help you get the relief you need from pain, teeth grinding, and more.
What is Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome?
Temporomandibular joint syndrome or TMJ is the pain in your jaw muscles and joints.The TMJ in the front of your head is what connects your lower jaw to the rest of your skull. Whenever you are opening or closing your mouth, these joints are working, rather like a sliding hinge would work.
But if you feel TMJ pain, simply opening and closing your mouth can hurt. TMJ pain can create other disruptions to your health, from interrupting your sleep to difficulty with your regular daily activities, and increasing stress - which in turn can increase TMJ.
What is the Cause of TMJ Pain?
TMJ pain can be caused due to:
- Serious injury to your jaw or teeth
- Misalignment of your jaw or teeth
- Teeth grinding or clenching of the jaw, also called bruxism
- Chronic stress that leads to grinding or clenching
- Frequent use of chewing gum
Although you use your temporomandibular joints or TMJ whenever you open or close your mouths, it’s unlikely that you think about them at all, until they begin to cause you pain. But, once that pain starts, it can be successfully resolved with experienced dental intervention.
Different Types of TMJ Pain
TMJ can have a variety of different causes and cause different types of pain. Successful treatment starts by identifying both the type of TMJ you may be experiencing and the possible causes.
- Pain in the jaw
- Clicking sounds in the jaw
- Buzzing, ringing, pain, or congestion in the ears
- Posture problems
- Pain in the shoulders, back, and neck
- Difficulties chewing and swallowing
- Limited jaw movement or lock jaw
- Thermal sensitivity
- Facial pain or tired facial muscles
- Clenching or grinding the teeth
- Worn down, chipped, or cracked teeth or dental restorations
Myofascial pain is among the most common types of pain, resulting from teeth grinding and jaw clenching. This pain usually starts in the muscles around the joints.
Internal joint derangement, due to trauma to your face or jaw, or a displaced disc or dislocated jaw can also be a cause of TMJ; arthritis can also attack your TMJ.
What Kinds of Relief and Treatment are Available for TMJ Pain?
There are a number of different ways to treat TMJ pain, including:
- Applying warm compresses
- Consuming soft foods if flare-ups occur
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Special exercises for the jaw
- A custom night guard created by your dental team to reduce stress on the TMJ, preventing teeth grinding and jaw clenching
- Orthodontic treatment to correct bite issues
- Oral surgery, if other treatments are unsuccessful
Your skilled dental team can recommend custom night guards or other treatment plans to prevent or relieve TMJ issues.
Why is TMJ Pain Treatment Important?
It’s important to treat TMJ pain as soon as possible, because it can get worse over time. To prevent this, receiving early treatment, like an effective custom night guard that can resolve the disorder and relieve pain, is key.
Relieving TMJ pain now means you’ll have better oral health for years to come.
Ready to Learn More About TMJ Treatment?
If you’re ready to learn more about TMJ pain relief, and options for TMJ treatment, give us a call or reach out to us today. We are ready to help!