Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain involves the jaw joint and temporal bone of the skull, as well as the muscles that surround the jaw. TMJ disorder affects the jaw bone and the areas surrounding the jaw bone if you tend to excessively bite and grind your teeth.
TMJ disorder causes you to feel pain while talking, yawning, chewing or even without moving your jaw at all.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
There are many different types of this disorder and they occur in varying degrees. However, the most common cause of TMJ is linked with your bite and joint. If you bite and clench your teeth excessively, displacement of your lower jaw occurs, which places stress on the surrounding muscles. These surrounding muscles then stress out the joints as they release from the sockets in order to make your teeth fit in spite of the displacement of your jaw.
TMJ disorder can also be caused by head or face injury that jerks your joints from their sockets. You can also experience TMJ pain from aging and irregular surfaces on your teeth as a result of excessive biting or grinding.
If you have TMJ disorder, then you will experience pain in your jaw join, shoulders, neck and face.
TMJ Disorder Symptoms
1) Clicking and/or locking in your jaw
3) Difficulty chewing
4) Swelling in your face
7) Hearing problems
TMJ Disorder Treatment
If you suffer from TMJ disorder, set up a consultation with your dentist. Your dentist will examine your bite—called occlusion—in order to assess the relationship between your jaw and bite. This is done by taking impressions of your bite. Your dentist then places the impressions on something called an articulator which reveals an imitation of the natural movement of your jaw.
This evaluation enables your dentist to investigate how the jaw bone moves and to determine where the irregularities reside, whether the imbalance is on particular teeth or all your teeth.
If you’re still searching for the right dentist to treat your TMJ pain, try the following at home until you find a dentist that suits your needs.
1) Watch your diet—avoid foods that require lots of chewing such as raw vegetables and gum. Instead, consume softer foods.
2) Apply heat and cold packs—use heat and cold packs on the side of your face and temple for ten to fifteen minutes at a time.
3) Get dental treatment—if any of your teeth need restoration, get dental treatment immediately. If you are prone to too much biting and grinding, you may experience tooth loss.
4) Practice physical therapy—invest in therapeutic treatments such as massages.
5) Use a dental appliance—dental appliances such as splints and mouth guards prescribed by your dentist can lessen the pain resulted from too much grinding.