Our bodies generally operate with little thought on our part but, when something goes wrong, we quickly take notice! The TMJ joint is a small part of the body that works to connect the lower jaw to either side of the skull. While you may not pay a lot of attention to your TMJ joint, it is what makes it possible for you to complete important tasks such as eating and talking. When your TMJ joint becomes injured or dislocated, you will certainly know that something isn’t right.
What Causes TMJ
Problems that result in a TMJ disorder can originate from a wide range of sources. Injuries and traumas such as being hit or falling can cause issues, but that’s not all. Arthritis and joint erosion can cause a TMJ disorder, while teeth grinding or clenching can also be the culprit. In some cases, a simple problem with your jaw’s structure may start the disorder.
What Happens with TMJ?
The severity and range of symptoms that come with TMJ vary from one person to another. If you have a mild case of TMJ, you may only experience one of these symptoms, while more serious cases may involve them all along with others. Generally, TMJ involves muscle pain in the direct jaw muscle and those surrounding the TMJ area. People also experience face and neck pain, jaw stiffness, lack of jaw movement, a locked jaw, a clicking or popping sound coming from the TMJ, and misaligned teeth.
Getting a TMJ Diagnosis
While you may suffer from all the TMJ symptoms, you can’t be sure that you have a TMJ disorder without a complete exam and diagnosis by a dentist that specializes in TMJ. Despite having jaw pain and TMJ symptoms, it may turn out that you have a completely different disorder such as a damaged tooth that simply needs repair. By getting a TMJ diagnosis, you can learn more about your condition and the best treatment options for you. If you have a different condition, a dentist can help you find other treatments that will solve the problem.
Treatment for TMJ
If you suffer from a TMJ condition, a dentist will work with you to discover the best treatment plan. Usually, treatment starts with muscle relaxers and pain relievers that will work to stop the discomfort and do away with inflammation. If your jaw is dislocated, the dentist can work to return it back to place, while a broken jaw bone will need more extensive treatment such as securing the jaw so that it can’t move after setting it. In the most severe cases, a broken bone may need surgery.
Get Help Today
If you are suffering from TMJ symptoms, it’s important that you do whatever is necessary to relieve your symptoms and heal the problem. The first step to healing is to have your jaw examined by a trained dental professional so that they can help you discover a treatment plan. At Forestwood Dental, we are happy to serve our suffering patients with a complete TMJ diagnosis followed by the best treatment options.