If you have ever dealt with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), you will know how challenging it can be to speak, yawn, bite, chew, and even speak. This joint is essential to our daily function, and dysfunction with it can become very debilitating, especially when it comes to eating and socializing.
At Mill Bay Dental, we are happy to provide TMJ therapy near you to help alleviate your discomfort and enhance your quality of life.
What is TMJ?
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is an umbrella term for a multitude of issues concerning the temporomandibular joint, which is the small joint in front of your ears that connects your lower jaw to your skull. Issues with this joint may include joint stiffness, muscle tightness, and reduced movement. In severe cases, the jaw will dislocate and relocate often.
Some common symptoms of TMJ include:
- Tightness and pain in the jaw
- Upper neck pain and tightness
- Reduced range of motion in the jaw
- Ear fullness or ringing
If you notice any of the above symptoms, it is a good idea to visit a dentist in Mill Bay to be assessed for TMJ.
What Causes TMJ?
There are many causes of TMJ, but one of the main causes of TMJ is injury or trauma, such as sports injuries or motor vehicle collisions. Another common cause is poor posture. Those who slump in their chairs or have an occupation where they remain in a hunched position for long periods tend to suffer from TMJ. The final common cause of TMJ is stress, depression, and anxiety, resulting in clenching and grinding of the teeth, putting unnecessary stress on the jaw joints.
How is TMJ Treated?
If you think you may be dealing with TMJ, the best place to start is to visit a dentist near you to determine if you truly are dealing with TMJ or if your jaw pain is due to another tooth-related problem. If they determine that you are dealing with TMJ, they can offer you several forms of treatment.
They may create a custom-made appliance for you, such as a splint or night guard, to help with clenching and grinding. They may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxants as part of your TMJ therapy in Mill Bay. This is often enough to alleviate your discomfort and protect your teeth from damage in mild cases.
If you are dealing with a more severe case of TMJ, they may ask you to work with some other specialists to get your pain and inflammation under control. This may include going to physical therapy, massage appointments, and visiting a chiropractor. They may also refer you to an oral maxillofacial surgeon to determine if you require surgical intervention.
The Bottom Line
Jaw pain and dysfunction can seriously impact your quality of life and lower your ability to enjoy simple pleasures such as eating and spending time with loved ones. Luckily, there are many ways to alleviate your discomfort and promote healing.
If you believe you may be suffering from TMJ, please do not hesitate to contact our team at Mill Bay Dental. We are happy to provide TMJ therapy to our patients and help enhance their quality of life.