TMJ is an abbreviation for temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. The wear and tear that this joint gets on a daily basis is very significant when you think about all of the things that require your jaw to be moving. Additionally, there are many things that can aggravate the joint from injury to orthodontics, or even restorative dental procedures like fillings, inlays or onlays, or even crowns. There are the two major things that enlist function of your TMJ on a daily basis:
While it does not put the same amount of load on the muscles of your jaw as eating does, talking does utilize the joint and the muscles. If there is some sort of disorder, the number of times you use the joint can be a major factor in how aggravated the joint gets.
Eating is something that everyone does on a daily basis. It requires movement of your TMJ and even works the muscles in the jaw. If your joint is not functioning correctly, eating can cause some discomfort in the jaw which can affect many other muscles in your face and head.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Because of the use that the TMJ joint gets, many people start to develop discomfort due to the joint not functioning properly. This can cause headaches, tightness of the jaw and other issues as well. This leaves many people searching for TMJ treatment.
TMJ treatment is the process of training your TMJ joint to function correctly. This can involve developing new habits, customized mouth pieces and more. After analyzing the joint, the dentist can tell you what aspects are causing the disorder in the joint. Once you know some of the causes of the pain, you can start working on the solutions.
The symptoms of TMJ disorder are fairly easy to identify. If you have TMJ issues you will likely identify it fairly easily because most symptoms manifest themselves through pain or popping. If you have TMJ disorder you may experience some or all of the following issues:
- Pain in, and around the jaw joint
If your joint is not functioning properly, you are likely going to experience muscle pain in the muscles that are directly attached to the joint and the surrounding muscles. Many patients report that this can lead to tension up into the temples and can cause significant headaches.
- Clicking and popping in the jaw
When your joint is not sitting and moving the way that it is intended to, you will often experience popping. This can be muscles and ligaments rolling over each other or the bone, or it can even be two bones sliding past each other. Whatever the situation may be that is causing the clicking, you should be seen by a dentist immediately.
- Popping ears, or painful ears
Many people find out that they have TMJ disorder because of the symptoms that are displayed. Ear pain, popping ears or ringing ears can be indicators that you have TMJ issues going on
What to Do if You Think That You Have TMJ Disorder
The first thing to do if you think that you have TMJ disorder is to see a dentist. Your dentist can do an exam and let you know if things are working correctly. If things are not working the way that they should be, your dentist can provide you with things to avoid, exercises and even devices that can help to correct the issue.
If you have jaw discomfort or any of the other signs of TMJ disorder, call Oxford Dental Care today at (208)529-0420, or click the button below to schedule an exam. We can help you get a TMJ treatment that is customized for you.