According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, up to 10 million people in the United States are believed to be dealing with TMJ pain. The pain can be debilitating and cause inconveniences. Except in severe cases of TMJ disorder, treatments for TMJ pain relief are mostly conservative and palliative.Many patients sometimes get…
How Do I know If I have TMJ?
Most people have heard of Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorder, also known as TMJ, yet probably would not know if they actually have it. While there are some specific signs of TMJ, few people are aware of them. Here are a few methods for how you can figure out if you have TMJ by simply paying attention to your own body and meeting with a TMJ dentist.
There are numerous TMJ symptoms, including ear pain, jaw pain, sounds when opening/closing the mouth, headaches, toothaches and pain when moving the mouth. An individual who has TMJ may have one or several of these symptoms. However, it is also possible that these symptoms result from something else besides the TMJ disorder.
In general, any popping, pain, tenderness or grinding along the jaw area is cause for concern. When the temporomandibular joint and all of the muscles surrounding it function as they should, it is possible to chew food, speak and yawn without issue. As soon as the muscles, joint and nerves experience stress, the symptoms may occur.
TMJ Often Goes Undiagnosed
Plenty of people live with TMJ for years only to eventually receive a diagnosis after suffering a series of the symptoms noted above. If a patient has ear pain, headaches or other symptoms, then it is an indication that he or she might have TMJ. This disorder has the potential to result even if there is a minor inflammation in the system of muscles, ligaments, tissues and bones.
Yet most people assume these symptoms do not relate to one another. In reality, there is a good chance the overarching cause is actually TMJ. This is precisely why it is so important to meet with a TMJ dentist, have us analyze your mouth and implement the appropriate treatment in a timely manner.
Is There Anything That Prevents TMJ?
If you are wondering what you can do to mitigate or prevent TMJ, do not stress out. Experts are not exactly sure what causes TMJ. Researchers seem to think grinding teeth and clenching teeth along with trauma to the jaw can cause TMJ. The trauma can stem from an extended dental operation like a root canal or something like an auto accident's whiplash.
Some dentists recommend not chewing gum. Some advise the use of a nighttime bite guard that protects against clenching during sleep. Plenty of patients obtain relief through muscle relaxation, prescription drugs or surgery. In many instances, TMJ disorders result for no apparent reason.
Thus, there is a good chance a TMJ sufferer will develop the symptoms noted above without a direct cause, possibly mistake the symptom and move on with undiagnosed TMJ. Be sure to meet with your TMJ dentist on a regular basis to determine the status of your oral health and have a TMJ assessment performed.
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