November 4, 2018
Do you ever experience throbbing headaches or unexplained soreness in your neck and shoulders? Or maybe you experience pain when you chew? You may have TMJ disorder, which is a painful condition that affects over 10 million Americans. In an effort to bring awareness to this disorder, November is National TMJ Awareness Month. Keep reading to discover what TMJ disorder is, why you may have it, and whether you need TMJ treatment in Wayne.
What is TMJ Disorder?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. Think of it as a hinge that keeps the movement of your jaw smooth, while avoiding collision with the bones in your skull. TMJ disorder can occur when the joint cartilage is inflamed, erodes, or becomes misaligned.
What Are the Signs of TMJ Disorder?
If you have TMJ disorder, you could experience the following symptoms:
- A locking jaw
- Pain in and around your ears
- Tenderness or pain in the jaw
- Migraines and throbbing headaches
- Neck and shoulder pain
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
See below some common causes of this disorder:
- A misaligned bite
- Stress or injury to the face or jaw
- Orthodontic treatment
- Arthritis or bone defects
- Teeth grinding
There are more possible causes of TMJ disorder, but if you experience any of the causes or symptoms above, talk to your dentist in Wayne to get the treatment you need.
How Can I Help with My Disorder?
If you’ve been experiencing any of these symptoms and you want to try to feel better yourself, check out these self-care tips:
- Avoid hard foods or chewing gum that overworks your jaw.
- Try gently massaging your jaw muscles.
- Mildly exercise each day.
- Maintain good posture during the day, especially if you’re at a computer.
If these self-care tips don’t work, you may need TMJ treatment from your dentist.
How Can My Dentist Help with My TMJ Disorder?
Your dentist will examine your bite, the way your joints move, take photos, listen for any grinding or clicking, and ask you questions to better understand your symptoms. After that, your dentist will be able to make an accurate diagnosis and provide the right TMJ therapy for you.
Your dentist may recommend taking medications like pain relievers or muscle relaxants, or they may recommend therapies like oral splints or mouthguards. Additionally, they may recommend physical therapy to correct your disorder. When all else fails, they may suggest some surgical procedures to make your jaw movement feel nice and smooth once more.
Now that you know some TMJ disorder tips, you can celebrate National TMJ Awareness Month the right way! Use these tips for a healthy and great-feeling jaw.
About the Practice
At Wayne Family Dentistry, we have a team of 4 dentists who each bring different passions and expertise to the practice. They understand that TMJ disorder can affect your daily life and overall health, which is why they offer TMJ treatment. They currently practice at Wayne Family Dentistry, and they can be contacted through their website or by phone at (610) 688-4578 for any questions.
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