Understanding TMJ Dental Disorder and Treatments Involved

Understanding TMJ Dental Disorder and Treatments Involved

Oct 01, 2020

When you think of visiting a dentist for treatment, it is almost always about a dental problem involving your teeth. The common case involves a toothache caused by dental decay. This is why many people associate dentistry with teeth treatment only. However, there is more to dentistry than caring for your teeth.

TMJ treatment is evidence that dentistry cares for more than just your teeth. It is concerned with your jawbone’s health and how it affects the functionality of your oral cavity.

What Is TMJ?

It is an acronym used to refer to the temporomandibular joint. This is a joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. The joint is located close by the ears on both sides. This joint makes it possible for your jaw to move up and down. It means that functions like speaking, eating, biting, yawning, and many others, are supported by the TMJ. Essentially, the joint allows for the optimal functioning of the mouth.

When there is a problem with this joint, it causes problems for your oral cavity. Many times patients that seek TMJ treatment in Huntington Beach them do so following significant pain. It is painful to move your mouth up and down when the joint is dysfunctional.

How Does Damage Happen? 

There are three common ways that damage can happen to your TMJ, including:

  1. Misalignment of the discs – this means that the disc has moved from its correct position. In other cases, the disc in that area of your face is eroded, leading to the same issue.
  2. Damage of the joints cartilage – it can be due to underlying health issues.
  3. Injury of the jaw – usually by forceful impact externally.

What Causes TMJ Disorder? 

The exact cause of the disorder has not yet been determined. However, this joint that acts as a sliding hinge can be damaged in different ways, including the following:

  1. Facial injuries and accidents – a traumatic event can hurt your face with a blunt impact that puts pressure on your facial muscles and jawbone. This can cause some problems with your TMJ.
  2. Excessive teeth grinding – it is a habit that people pick up, mostly when they are young. The disorder is called bruxism. It places enormous pressure on the jawbone when you are pressing your teeth on each other continuously. The outcome can be a problematic TMJ.
  3. Stress and anxiety are a risk factor that can cause TMJ disease because it features clenching if the facial muscles are too much.
  4. Arthritis or such as health problems
  5. Genetics – if other people in your family have suffered from TMJ disorders before, you are at a high risk of getting it too.

Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorders 

The best way to determine whether or not you need TMJ pain treatment is to identify the symptoms you are exhibiting that may be associated with TMJ disease. Some of the symptoms you experience may also tell you how severe the disorder is, and whether you need treatment in an ER for emergency dentistry. Some of the common signs and symptoms, therefore, include:

  1. Pain in your jaws – you are very likely to experience it when you talk or chew. Any efforts to move your jaws up and down will manifest some discomfort. The pain levels, however, describe how severe the problem may be.
  2. Swollen cheeks – inflammation is likely to occur in your cheek areas since the joint is located on the sides of your face.
  3. Eat pain – the joint is close by your eats, which is why a disorder might cause pain to your ears.
  4. Migraine headaches – they may be continuous, or headaches that come and go.
  5. Clicking sounds when you move your mouth.
  6. Jaw lock is when the upper and lower jaws are stuck in the open mouth position. It happens to many patients when they yawn or even laugh out loud. If it happens, do not try to force your mouth shut as you could cause further, yet unnecessary damage.

Treatment Options

Treating TMJ disorder can be done differently, depending on the severity as well as the cause. Some treatment methods include wearing night guards when you sleep, mouthguards for protection during sports, surgical measures, and therapy sessions to manage your stress and anxiety.

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