TMJ Disorders And Treatment
The temporomandibular joint is located at the base of the skull and allows for chewing and talking movements. This joint connects the mandible, the lower jaw, and the temporal bone, which sits on the side of the skull.
TMJ disorders are conditions that affect the TMJ (Temporomandibular joints) specifically, with a range of possible symptoms, causing varying amounts of discomfort.
As the TMJ is responsible for both up and down and side-to-side movements, it is one of the most complex joints in the body, making TMJ disorders severe and challenging to treat effectively.
What Are TMJ Disorders?
TMJ disorders are conditions that specifically. These fall into broad categories, with the term including many possible causes. Dentists diagnose TMJ disorders based on a range of symptoms, including persistent pain around the jaw and restricted jaw movement.
Most cases of these disorders resolve on their own within a short period, which is usually within a couple of months. Some cases, however, may be ongoing or reoccur.
Causes Of TMJ Disorders.
TMJ disorders are of many possible causes. Some of these known causes include:
- Trauma leading to physical injury
- Grinding or clenching the teeth during sleep
- Autoimmune diseases
- Idiopathic causes as in dental surgery
- Oral infections affecting the TMJ
- Pain felt in the face or neck
- Jaw muscle stiffness
- Limited movement of the jaw
- Locking of the jaw
- Clicking or popping sound hear from the TMJ site
- Malocclusion, which is a shift in the jaw, which then changes the way that the upper and lower teeth align
Some other causes could genetic, hormonal, or environmental. Women experience TMJ disorders at a higher rate than men, and hence research is currently ongoing to fish out hormonal causes for TMJ.
What Are The Symptoms Of TMJD?
The symptoms of TMJ disorders depend significantly on the severity and cause of the condition. The most common symptom of TMJD documented is jaw pain and its surrounding muscles. Other symptoms typically associated with these disorders include:
These symptoms, however, may show up on just one side of the face or both.
TMJ disorders are often difficult to diagnose as there are no standard tests to diagnose these disorders.
The dentist firstly examines the jaw to see if there is swelling or tenderness if symptoms of a TMJ disorder have been complained about. Several different imaging tests can be ordered, and these can include X-rays of the jaw, CT scan of the jaw to see the bones and joint tissues, or an MRI of the jaw to detect if there are problems with the structure of the jaw.
You should quickly get to see a Dentist near you, in case you have some of the symptoms described above, and if you are in Houston, there’s a dentist in 77044 Houston, TX who can examine you or refer you to see an Oral or Maxillofacial surgeon.
There are various treatment options available, including home or self-care and lifestyle changes, which in many cases can treat TMJ disorders, especially mild to moderate conditions. Surgery is usually the treatment of choice in severe cases.
Recommended self-care treatments involve reducing jaw movements which could involve avoiding chewing gum, eating only soft foods, and avoiding clenching or tensing the jaw. On the other hand, gentle exercises may be recommended, such as stretching the jaw slightly and massaging the affected muscles around the jaw have also be found to help. A combination of both rest and gentle exercise may be recommended. A healthcare professional can advise on the most appropriate exercises to follow, as well as other lifestyle changes that could ease TMJ disorder symptoms.
In more extreme cases of TMJ disorder, surgery may be the most efficient treatment for pain and restricted movement. This is when the TMJ disorder is caused by damage to the joint itself, to the muscles surrounding the jaw, or by another condition. Surgery is only recommended when the actual joint has something wrong with it. In very severe TMJ disorders, where the movement of the jaw is highly restricted and symptoms are long-lasting, the joint may need to be replaced. This treatment is rarely required, however.
Our dentists in 77044 are readily available, and you can always come for evaluation and TMJ treatment when you need to. We care about you and your health. Call us now to schedule an appointment with our dentist near you at Lux Dental Studio. You can also visit our clinic if you are residing in Summer Lake Ranch, Timberhills, Eagle Creek, Village of Kings Lake, Greensbrook, Kingslake Forest, Gateway Place, Greensbrook Place, Fall Creek, and surrounding communities.