TMJ Disorder: Causes and Treatments

A skull with someone pointing to the TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint)
Caption: Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction causes pain in the joint of the jaw.

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, affects millions of people in America. It manifests itself in the form of jaw pain. However, there are lots of ways in which the TMJ can impact your body and it often goes far beyond jaw pain. Many symptoms associated with TMJ disorder can be very damaging and can limit a person’s day-to-day life. We’re going to look at what causes the disorder and some TMJ treatment options. Read on to learn more.

Causes of TMJ Disorder

The problem occurs when there’s a disorder 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 or the cartilage that covers the bones or the disk between them, pain can occur.

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.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

If you are experiencing jaw pain but not sure if it’s TMJ disorder, look for these signs and symptoms.

  • headaches
  • teeth grinding
  • erosion of teeth
  • dizziness accompanied by neck pain
  • clicking and/or popping of the joint when you open your mouth

These signs and symptoms can come in a variety of combinations and you don’t have to experience them all. The symptoms are often worse with stress and anxiety.

Treatment Options

The first thing you need to do if you think you might have TMJ disorder is to schedule a consultation. We will assess the situation and give a full diagnosis or otherwise find what is causing your symptoms. The diagnosis process might involve x-ray images.

There is a wide range of treatment options available. The right one for you depends on your individual situation. Here is a few TMJ treatment options:

  • Bite guards can prevent teeth grinding associated with TMJ disorder.
  • Relaxation techniques help to reduce stress and the severity of your TMJ symptoms.
  • Pain-relieving medication can help control TMJ symptoms.
  • Physical therapy is often helpful in strengthening the jaw.
  • Some people benefit from muscle relaxants to relieve jaw tension.
  • Sometimes Botox injections surrounding the joint are effective.
  • Teeth alignment procedures can be helpful for people with a bad bite.

Schedule An Appointment Today

Don’t hesitate to contact and schedule an appointment with Dental Partners of Boston. We can help find the right treatment for your TMJ disorder. Our team of dental specialists is experienced with TMJ-related issues and is here to help you. Our team will assess your situation and offer the treatment options best suited for you.

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