Your temporomandibular joint is one that connects your jaw to the skull. Injuries or damages to the joint can result in localized discomfort called TMJ syndrome. TMJ syndrome can cause pain in your jaw joint and the muscles controlling jaw movement.
Determining the exact causes of TMJ syndrome is often challenging. The pain you experience might combine several factors, including genetics, arthritis, or jaw injury. Some people having jaw pain clench or grind their teeth, although many people habitually clenching or grinding their teeth don’t develop TMJ disorders.
In many cases, the pain associated with the TMJ disorder is temporary and disappears with self-managed care and nonsurgical treatments. Surgery is generally a last resort when other conservative methods have failed to provide relief. However, some people benefit from surgical treatments if they are affected by TMJ disorders.
Symptoms of TMJ disorders include pain and tenderness in your jaw besides pain in one or both the temporomandibular joints. You might have an aching pain in and around your ears and challenges chewing along with pain. In addition, you might experience locking of the jaw joint, making it challenging for you to open and close your mouth, besides having an aching facial pain.
Temporomandibular joint disorders also cause a clicking or grating sound when opening your mouth or chewing. However, if you don’t experience pain or limitation when moving your jaw or clicking sounds, you will not need treatment for TMJ disorder.
You must seek attention from the TMJ dentist in Mississauga, ON, if you experience persistent pain and tenderness in your jaw or find it challenging to open and close your jaw entirely. The TMJ dentist can discuss the causes of the condition and the treatments for your problem.
When you visit the dentist in Mississauga, ON, complaining about discomfort in your jaw, the professional will discuss your symptoms and examine your jaw. They will listen to and feel your jaw asking you to open and close your mouth. They also observe the range of motion of your jaw. They might press around your jaw to identify sites of discomfort.
If the dentist suspects a problem, they might recommend dental x-rays to examine your teeth and jaw or CT scans and MRI scans to reveal problems with the joint disk and surrounding soft tissue. Sometimes they might recommend TMJ arthroscopy to view the area and help determine a diagnosis.
Sometimes the symptoms of TMJ disorders disappear without treatment. Unfortunately, if your symptoms persist, the dentist might recommend various treatment options, often combined at the same time.
Medications for TMJ disorders include pain relievers and anti-inflammatories either over-the-counter or prescribed by the dentist providing TMJ treatment in Mississauga, ON. Tricyclic antidepressants are sometimes recommended for pain relief, although they are generally used for depression. Muscle relaxants are also recommended for a few days to help relieve the discomfort caused by TMJ disorders.
The frequency of the discomfort you experience from TMJ disorders reduces when you become aware of your tension-related habits, such as clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth, or chewing complex objects. The tips mentioned below can help reduce the symptoms of TMJ disorders.
You must avoid overusing your jaw muscles by eating soft foods or cutting food into smaller pieces. Steering clear sticky or chewy food and avoiding chewing gum also help.
Stretching and massaging are exercises that stretch and strengthen jaw muscles. Your dentist or physical therapist can display how to perform the activities and massage the muscles yourself.
Applying moist heat or ice on the side of your face can also help alleviate jaw pain.
Complementary and alternative medical techniques can help with chronic pain associated with TMJ disorders. Some examples of alternative medical methods include acupuncture, relaxation techniques, and biofeedback to monitor the tightness of specific muscles and help you practice effective relaxation.
If you are fortunate, the TMJ disorder might disappear by itself without needing treatments from dentists or medical professionals. However, when other techniques are not helpful or ineffective, your dentist might recommend procedures like injections, arthrocentesis, modified condylotomy, or open joint surgery as a last resort. Therefore if your doctor or dentist recommends surgery, ensure that you discuss the potential benefits and risks and your options before accepting the suggestion.
If you experience persistent jaw pain and the discomfort doesn’t subside by itself, have the condition evaluated by scheduling an appointment with Millway Dental for relief from TMJ disorders.