Do you feel clicking in your jaw when you are eating? Or a grating sensation when you open your mouth or chew? These can be the symptoms of TMJ disease.
What is TMJ Disorder?
The TMJ, also known as the temporomandibular joint, is responsible for connecting your jaw bone to the skull. If the TMJ function is in the proper stage, it allows smooth movement of the jaw when chewing and speaking. Its dysfunction leads to discomfort and pain.
The condition falls into three main categories:
- Myofascial pain –pain and discomfort in the muscle that controls jaw function.
- Arthritis –It refers to a group of inflammatory joints that can affect TMJ.
- Internal derangement – It involves injury to condyle or displaced disc and dislocated jaw.
Some people experience other health problems with TMJ that involve chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, etc.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder?
The main symptom of TMJ is the pain that occurs in chewing muscles and joints.
- Jaw muscles become stiff.
- Pain while talking and painful clicking when opening or closing the mouth.
- Pain in one or both temporomandibular joints.
- TMJ pain also occurs in the neck and shoulders. Sometimes you may also experience a toothache.
- Head and neck pain.
TMJ Disorder Diagnosis
Diagnosis of TMJ disease is very difficult and confusing. Your doctor will note your symptoms and examine your medical history. Also, your doctor will check the problem areas, including neck, head, face, clicking, popping, and will suggest X – Rays if needed. Sometimes TMJ arthroscopy is used for the diagnosis. These can help to identify TMJ disorders.
TMJ Disorder Treatment
Home care is the best relaxation process to relieve TMJ. Applying an ice pack can reduce swelling in the face, and massage is an effective remedy when you have pain. It induces relaxation. When discomfort or pain occurs in the neck or the head, gently rub the area to get relief.
In more severe cases, medication will be needed. Your doctor will suggest pain medications depending on your health condition. In some cases, arthrocentesis is performed. Physical therapy is good for muscle relaxation and joint flexibility. Physiotherapists recommend exercise for proper muscle movements.
Some Useful Tips for TMJ Disorder
- Apply an ice pack to the affected area
- Avoid gum chewing, and also avoid hard foods.
- Try to reduce stress.
- Doing exercises like gentle jaw stretching and relaxing may help to increase jaw movement.
TMJ disorder can be self-diagnosable. In most cases, it can be reduced through home remedies. In some cases, it may need surgery. With better treatment plans, it is now possible to control the disease.
Want to know more about potential treatments for TMJ disorders? Book your consultation with our dentists at Puffer Dental now by calling us at (936) 564-2439 or scheduling an appointment online!