Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) serves as the sliding hinge that connects the jawbone to the skull. There is a joint at each side of the jaw. When these joints are damaged, localized pain disorder might result from it. TMJ disorders can cause pain in the jaw joint and jaw muscles that control movement. This localized pain disorder is referred to as Temporomandibular disorder (TMD).
What causes TMJ disorders?
Various factors can cause TMJ disorders. It may spring from genetics, arthritis, or jaw injuries. Habits like teeth grinding, poor posture, and teeth clenching are factors for TMJ disorders as well. The bones interacting with TMJ are covered with cartilage and are separated with a shock-absorbing disk that keeps the jaw movement smooth. When the disk moves out of its proper alignment, is damaged by arthritis or hit by a strong blow to the face, TMJ disorders happen.
Symptoms of TMJ disorders
- Tenderness and pain on the jaw
- Pain in one or both joints on the jaw
- Persistent aching of the ear
- Chewing difficulty
- Facial pain
- Jaw clicking and popping
- Pain in the temple area
- Stiff or sore jaw muscles
- Locking of the joint causing difficulty in opening and closing the mouth
Remedies for TMJ disorders
TMJ disorders respond well to home treatments. These home remedies include ice packs to the aching joint and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In order to lessen the pain, chewing gum must be avoided. Doing stretches of the jaw and neck, reducing stress, and avoiding teeth grinding may help as well.
When do you need to seek medical help?
If one is experiencing consistent pain, tenderness, and not being able to open and close the jaw completely, seeking help from a dental health professional is a must. This is for the patient to receive a proper diagnosis of the problem and discuss the treatment needed.
Are you or your loved one experiencing jaw pain and discomfort? Let us at Axiom Dentistry help! Check out our services under TMJ Disorders in North Carolina. Call us to schedule an appointment.