TMJ, or temporomandibular disorder, affects millions of people around the world. Interestingly, TMJ seems to occur twice as often in women than in men. This painful condition causes a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Thankfully, there are treatments available for TMJ sufferers. Talk to your dentist is Dayton about your TMJ. They will let you know which treatment options might be suitable for your particular circumstances.
What is TMJ?
TMJ is a disorder that directly affects the jaw muscles, facial nerves and TM joints. The condition occurs when the jaw moves in an irregular fashion during eating, drinking, talking or even sleeping. Symptoms vary but may include:
- Ear pain
- Chronic headaches
- Stiff neck
- Tender jaw
- Sore mouth
- Difficulty or pain when opening or closing the mouth
- Clicking or “popping” noises when chewing or talking
Causes of TMJ
The most common causes for TMJ are arthritis, misaligned bite and jaw injury or traumatic injury. TMJ can occur at any age. It’s important to note that even if you never had TMJ, you could develop it later on in life. TMJ needs to be professionally diagnosed by your Dayton dentist, as many of the symptoms of TMJ could also be symptoms of other problems.
Treatment Options for TMJ
TNJ rarely goes away on its own. Professional treatment is critical. Treatment options include certain exercises that your dentist can describe and demonstrate. There are also some medications that can help relieve the pain and discomfort of TMJ, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Your dentist may also want to provide you with a prescription mouth guard or an oral splint. This helps to keep your jaw aligned, especially while sleeping.
There are also surgical treatment options for TMJ. Whether or not you are a candidate for surgery to treat your TMJ depends on what is causing your particular case and other factors. If you are not a candidate for TMJ, you may be a candidate for steroid injections, which can help to reduce or relief the pain associated with this condition.
TMJ should always be addressed by your professional dentist. Never just ignore this condition, as leaving it without treatment is apt to lead to a more serious situation. For more information about TMJ, please contact us today.