Are you suffering from persistent jaw pain? What about stiffness, clicking, and locking of the jaw? If so, you may be suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome, or TMJ. This syndrome affects 20 to 30 percent of the adult population. Ear pain and popping, along with tension headaches could also be indicators of TMJ.
Although the causes of TMJ are not fully known or understood, here are a few considerations:
- Injury to teeth or jaw (causing misalignment)
- Teeth grinding
- Gum chewing
It is not clear whether the signs and symptoms associated with TMJ are causes of this syndrome, or simply expressions of it. Yet, one thing is certain-the pain and discomfort experienced with TMJ can interfere with daily activities and routines. Eating often becomes difficult for those suffering with jaw pain. Sleep patterns may also be disturbed. Consequently, patients find it difficult to focus on job-related tasks. This results in increased stress and anxiety. Overall, the symptoms of TMJ are not life threatening. However, if left untreated, they can prove to be debilitating.
This is why Grateful Dental patients experiencing the signs and symptoms of TMJ are strongly encouraged to contact us. We will use a series of tests to determine if TMJ is to blame for your jaw pain. You can be sure that the prognosis for those with TMJ is generally good. There are several solutions and remedies available to give you relief. In many cases, applying ice packs will reduce inflammation. Over the counter pain medications and simple diet modifications help as well. In other cases, massaging and stretching the muscles surrounding the joint lessens the pain. A few additional options include a custom bite guard or dental splint, physical therapy, prescription-strength medications, and muscle relaxers.
No matter your level of discomfort, we’ll be sure to help you make the most informed decision about your pain. Contact Grateful Dental today to schedule an appointment. We’re here to help!