TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, affects millions of people in America and it tends to manifest itself in the form of jaw pain. However, there are lots of ways in which TMJ can impact your body and it often goes far beyond jaw pain. Many of the symptoms associated with TMJ can be very damaging and can limit a person’s day to day lifestyle options. We’re going to look at what causes TMJ and what the treatment options are. Read on to learn more.
The Causes of TMJ
The problem occurs when there’s a dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects the skull and jaw bone. It should work smoothly but when a problem arises with the bones, the cartilage that covers the bones or the disk between them, it can be painful.
There’s a wide range of things that can directly cause TMJ, such as an injury to the jaw, teeth grinding, arthritis or poor alignment of the teeth. It’s also the case that women and people aged between 20 and 40 are most likely to suffer from TMJ than other demographics.
The Symptoms to Look Out For
If you’ve been having problems with your jaw but you’re not sure whether it’s TMJ or not, these are the symptoms you should be looking out for. Headaches are often associated with the problem, as is teeth grinding. You might also notice the erosion of your teeth and dizziness accompanied by neck pain.
These symptoms can be experienced in a variety of combinations and you don’t have to experience them all for them to signal TMJ. It’s also true that these symptoms are often made worse by stress and anxiety.
The first thing you need to do if you think you might have TMJ is come in for a consultation. We will be able to assess the situation. You can then get a full diagnosis if the problem is present or find out what’s actually causing your symptoms if it’s not TMJ. The diagnosis process might involve x-ray images being taken as well as an exam.
There’s a wide range of treatment options available and the one that’s right for you will depend on your individual situation. Bite guards can be used to prevent the teeth grinding that’s associated with TMJ. These can be combined with relaxation techniques that reduce stress and the severity of your TMJ symptoms.
Pain relief can be used to control TMJ symptoms better and physical therapy is often used to help with strengthening the jaw. For some people, muscle relaxants can be beneficial because they relieve jaw tension. Sometimes injecting Botox into the tissues surrounding the joint is effective. Teeth alignment procedures can be helpful for people with a bad bite too.
Schedule An Appointment Today
Don’t hesitate to get in touch and schedule an appointment with Dental Partners of Boston. We can help find the right treatment for your TMJ. Our team of dental specialists have many years of experience in dentistry, and are here to help you. Our team will assess your situation and offer you the treatment solution that works best for you.