What is TMJ/TMD all about?
You might be experiencing constant facial pain, headaches, earaches or even jaw pain. If this is the case, you might be experiencing symptoms caused by dysfunction of one or even both of the TM (temporomandibular) joints.
It can really be annoying and a constant pain that can literally take over your life. You owe it to yourself to find out if you have a TMJ disorder.
If your TM joints are not functioning like they should, the joint, facial nerves, muscles of the face, head and jaw can all be affected producing symptoms such as:
- Neck aches
- Pain around or in the ear
- Jaw muscle sensitivity and tenderness
- Dull or sharp pain while biting, chewing and yawning
- A difficult time closing and opening the mouth
- Very sensitive teeth without any other dental conditions
- Popping or clicking sounds when opening the mouth
- Pain and soreness in the jaw that is observed in the morning as well as late afternoon
- Numbness in the arms, shoulders and even hands
- Back and shoulder pain
- Postural challenges
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms above, there is a good chance that you could have a TMJ/TMD condition.
So what causes the symptoms?
I’m sure you want to get to the root of the problem to reduce or get rid of these rather annoying symptoms. Here are some causes that can keep giving you problems if they are not addressed.
- A bite that is unbalanced – If your upper and lower teeth don’t come together and close properly with an over-bite or under-bite, it’s going to put undue stress on the TM joints and will also affect the muscles and nerves.
- Airway issues – This is really a result of a misalignment of your bite. Since your tongue is attached to the lower jaw, a misaligned bite can restrict the tongue potentially causing snoring and even sleep apnea
- Skull deformities
- Injuries and trauma – An acute injury or trauma from any accident or collision can damage the joints, muscles, ligaments and nerves in the facial region that could lead to TMJ problems.
- Genetics – You might have large teeth that don’t fit your small jaw. Genetics may play a role in a lot of TMJ conditions.
- Stress and Anxiety – Not so much a physical problem. But an emotional condition that can affect almost every part of your body including the jaw. Most TMJ problems may occur because of stress that lead to grinding the teeth during sleep.
How can you find relief from your TMJ symptoms?
It’s important that you come in and have a complete exam. Letting us know your symptoms in combination with a thorough physical exam of the jaw and face can be a critical starting point to a proper diagnoses to receive the treatment you need.
At our dental office, we can assess your bite and how it might be contributing as well as taking x-rays to view the TM joints. From here, we can make a recommendation to treat you or refer you to another specialist trained in treating TMJ conditions to further help you.
If you think you might be suffering from TMJ symptoms, schedule an appointment with our experienced staff, so we can help you with your face and jaw pain. Give us a call and get out of your pain.