Do you find yourself with a sore, uncomfortable jaw after chewing, speaking, or simply just resting? You might be experiencing a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder, also referred to as TMD. You may also hear it wrongly (but more commonly) called TMJ, after the joint. TMJ disorder is a very uncomfortable condition and can cause serious pain. In today’s blog post, we want to explore this health concern and take a closer look at both the symptoms and treatment options.
What is TMJ Disorder?
The temporomandibular joint connects your jawbone to your skull and acts as a hinge between the two while moving your jaw. This joint allows us to comfortably move the jaw in order to talk, chew, and swallow. TMJ disorder can affect the function of the joint, leaving you with an achy jaw after movement.
The exact cause can be difficult to determine. It is often a combination of things, such as genetics, arthritis, or a jaw injury. Other causes of TMJ include stress, misaligned or uneven bites, jaw injuries, and grinding your teeth at night.
Patients with TMJ disorder may experience symptoms such as:
- Pain or difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Jaw clicking, popping, grating, or other clicking noises during mouth movement
- Signs of tooth wear
- Limited or restricted jaw mobility
- Frequent morning headaches and migraines
- Teeth clenching or grinding
- The feeling of a stuck jaw
- Numbness in the jaw
- Sore jaw in the morning
- Face, neck, shoulder, and upper back pain
- Muscle pain around the jaw area
- Aching pain in and around the ear
Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder
It’s no surprise that TMJ disorder can be both extremely uncomfortable and painful. Luckily, there are plenty of treatment options available right here at Maitland Ave Smile Co.! Treatment options include:
- Invisalign: Invisalign can not only treat crooked teeth but can also reduce symptoms of TMJ. This thin, clear aligner addresses misaligned bites and helps ease TMJ pain.
- Custom mouthguard: Another popular treatment plan for TMJ disorder is to create a custom-fit mouthguard. This appliance prevents teeth grinding at night and alleviates some of those pesky morning symptoms you may wake up with.
- Lifestyle changes: One of the main causes of teeth grinding is stress. By implementing changes in your everyday life to ease your stress, you may also see improvements in your TMJ symptoms.
How We Can Help at Maitland Ave Smile Co.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to speak to your dentist about it. Symptoms tend to progress over time, so scheduling an appointment as soon as your symptoms start can help stop the pain in its tracks.
At Maitland Ave Smile Co., we assess our patient’s head, neck, and jaw to look for signs of TMJ dysfunction. Then, our skilled dentists create custom treatment plans for you and your specific needs. We aim to address the problem at the root to give you the most relief possible and keep TMJ symptoms at bay.
Give us a call at (407) 834-0330 or request an appointment online today!
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