Everything You Want To Know about TMJ Disorder

Learn about the signs, reasons, and treatments of TMJ disorder. Find out how to deal with jaw pain and improve your mouth health as a whole from experts.

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If you are experiencing constant pain in your jaw and are not sure of the cause, you may have a temporomandibular joint disorder.

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. This joint is found in your jaw region, as it is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull.

Each person has two temporomandibular joints, one on the right side of the jaw and one on the left side of the jaw.

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Temporomandibular joint disorders result from the joints and chewing muscles around the lower jaw. This disorder can include acute and chronic pain in the temporomandibular joint muscles.

Since this joint is responsible for most of the lower jaw motions, such as opening and closing while chewing and moving side to side, the pain that one feels may vary from person to person, and the intensity of the pain may differ as well.

How Do You Know If You Suffer From Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

Do not let TMJ disorder stop you from doing what you want to do. Look into treatments and changes to your lifestyle to ease jaw pain and improve your general health.

Know about TMJ Disorder

There are common symptoms associated with TMJ disorder. However, the pain and symptoms in each person are not always identical.

Some common symptoms include difficulty chewing, discomfort while eating, hearing a clicking or a pop in your jaw, an earache, and a headache. While some people may hear popping in their jaws, it is not always associated with pain and therefore may not result from this disorder.

However, it is always suggested that you talk to a professional before self-diagnosing. Since muscles usually get overstretched when people have this disorder, the result is usually pain in other areas of the body.

Other symptoms include a sore jaw, loss of hearing, jaw tenderness, neck and shoulder pain, decreased flexibility using their jaw, tinnitus (also known as ringing in the ears), and dizziness.

People who suffer from this disorder may not experience all of these signs. However, if you feel some of these symptoms, you should get a checkup.

Although the exact causes of temporomandibular joint disorders are unknown, some people believe that trauma, such as teeth grinding and jaw clenching, disease, gradual wear and tear of joints and muscles, or other oral habits, are to blame.

Osteoarthritis is thought to cause this disorder in some people because normal aging can affect the stability and effectiveness of all joints and bones in the body, including those located in the jaw.

Rheumatoid arthritis is also thought to cause this disorder in some people because, similar to other areas of the body, rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation in the temporomandibular joint that can ultimately lead to deterioration of the bone and cartilage.

While these things are thought to play a role in causing this disorder, they are not the same for every person and can vary greatly, which is why it is always important to talk to a health care provider about any concerns you may have.

Treating TMJ Disorders

Since people with temporomandibular joint disorders have varying signs and symptoms and the exact cause is unclear, treating these disorders can be difficult.

There is no standard way to treat these disorders but to relieve pain and help your joints, muscles, nerves, and teeth work together more efficiently, and imaging studies may need to be given.

A dental professional will likely give you a dental exam to see the exact alignment of your teeth, feel the joint to see how it opens and closes, feel the joint to check for tenderness, check the head for sensitive areas, listen to the jaw movements from side to side and open and close, and may also use x-rays to check all teeth and bones for irregularities.

During this exam, it may be possible to discover the source of the pain. Health care providers will typically write down your exact symptoms, record your previous dental and medical history, and inspect areas causing pain.

Some people who have these symptoms may suffer from this disorder, but others may be suffering from other complications, such as an infection, a nerve headache, or other dental issues.

Since standard procedures are not available, it is common for those suffering from this disorder to see multiple specialists develop the best care solution.

If it is determined that you suffer from this disorder, you can seek surgical or non-surgical treatment options, depending upon your symptoms and exam results.

Both treatment options can help reduce the pain and discomfort one may feel when experiencing the painful signs of a temporomandibular joint disorder.

While waiting for your appointment with a healthcare professional, some recommend using a pain reliever, eating soft foods, reducing your stress levels, using warm compresses on your jaw and other areas in pain, avoiding hard-to-choose foods, and using relaxation techniques.

Need more information about TMJ disorder?

Dr. Marissa Cruz has many years of experience in specialized areas of dental work, including periodontal therapy, regeneration, and plastic surgery.

She also has experience in dental implant therapy, pre-prosthetic surgery, and bone regeneration. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida, then earned her master’s degree in biomedical science at the University of Miami.

She completed rigorous training and schooling at Nova Southeastern University, earning her Doctor of Dental Medicine.

She furthered her career and specialization when she completed training at Temple University in the Periodontology and Oral Implantology program. She has received a lot of recognition as a specialized periodontist.

She is a member of the American Dental Association, the Delaware Valley Academy of Osseointegration, the American Academy of Periodontology, the Academy of Stomatology of Philadelphia, and a diplomat in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.

As a member of these associations, Dr. Marissa Cruz is always kept up to date about the latest research and best practices in dental care. She performs various types of periodontal care. Please visit Dr. Crandall-Cruz for TMJ treatments in King of Prussia.

For the Latest Health NEWS and information about TMJ treatments and TMJ disorder, visit Ehealth Spider and Follow Us on Facebook.

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