When Should You See a TMJ /TMD Specialist?

When Should You See a TMJ /TMD Specialist?

Jun 01, 2021

The Temporomandibular Joint is found on either side of the jaw and it connects the jaw to the skulls. The joint also enables us to move the jaw effortlessly when we talk, yawn, chew, and sing. However, these activities can become difficult to perform when the joint is affected.

The problems affecting the TMJ are referred to as the Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction. The cause of the disorders is not known but is reported that arthritis, bruxism, poor posture, stress, and excessive gum chewing can affect the jaw.

The symptoms of TMD vary from person to person, but they may include:

1. Migraines

Although migraines are common, they rarely occur on their own. They are caused by various factors like stress, hormonal imbalance, sleep changes, medication, and weather. However, when you clench your jaw, the pain may travel to the skull and cause pain. Migraines triggered by TMJ are frequent and intense, and usually occur when you wake up. If these migraines occur at least three times a week and are accompanied by other symptoms like pain in the jaw, then you may need to visit a TMJ specialist. 

2. Worn-out Cracked or Chipped Teeth

Cracked and chipped teeth can occur when the teeth are severely worn out or after a fall. However, the teeth can crack if you constantly grind and clench your teeth. Bruxism causes the teeth to wear out, which increases the risk of them cracking.

When your upper and lower jaws are not in alignment, it may put too much pressure on the teeth causing them to wear down.

3. Jaw Pain

Jaw and neck pain is a common complaint in people who suffer from TMJ. This pain, at times, extends to the shoulders and ears. The pain can be intense and can occur at any time, interfering with your daily activities.

Although pain medication can bring jaw pain relief, a trip to the dentist may be important to rule out TMD and other causes.

4. Popping or Clicking Sound on the Jaw

When you have TMJ you may have trouble opening the jaw. This is often accompanied by popping and clicking sounds when you try to open your mouth wide.

5. Clogged Ears and Ear Pain

Because the TMJ is found adjacent to the ears, the disorder can cause pain. You may also have ear clogging that manifests as allergies and sinuses. At times, the TMJ disorder can cause tinnitus, which is characterized by a ringing sound in the ear

6. Tender muscles

Grinding and clenching of the jaws can cause strain of the joints and muscles. If you wake up with tender muscles and pain, then you may need to schedule an appointment with a Bolton dentist.

How is the TMJ Disorder Treated?

Most TMJ cases clear without treatment. However, when you have severe symptoms, you may need to get TMJ/TMD treatment in Bolton, ON. The dentist may use one or multiple treatments, which include:

1. Medication

Medications like pain relievers, Nonsteroidal Inflammatory Drugs, antidepressants, and muscle relaxants can be used to ease TMJ pain.

2. Home Remedies

Reducing the stress of the jaw can ease the pain and you can achieve this by switching your diet. Eating soft foods that require less chewing may be ideal in the first few days of the treatment. As the pain reduces, you may begin to add other types of foods. Avoid chewing gums and biting hard foods. Add exercise and stretches that relax the jaw muscles.

Cold therapies and moist heat work in relieving muscle tension and reducing jaw swelling.

3. Therapies

Using mouthguards and oral splints has proven to ease pain in the jaw. The splints will keep the jaw open when sleeping. While they are effective, they should not be used for long because they may change the position of the jaw. The mouthguards help to shield the teeth from the pressure of grinding and clenching.

Acupuncture therapy can also be used as an alternative medication for TMJ. This treatment involves applying hair-thin needles in the jaw and other affected areas to ease the pain and tension.

4. Surgery

Surgery is used when you have jaw abnormalities or when other forms of treatments do not work. The dentist may recommend different types of surgeries such as injections, open-joint surgery, and arthroscopy among others.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit South Hill Dental for assessment if you have jaw pain and need TMJ treatment.

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