Temporomandibular joint pain (also known as TMJ disorders) is caused by the sliding joint that connects your jaw to your skull. This, in turn, causes inflammation in the joint and the surrounding muscles. It is among the types of pain disorders that can be treated by a dentist as opposed to a general practitioner. This is because dentists have access to technologies that provide some of the best treatments for TMJ disorders.
In this article, we’ll discuss TMJ disorders and how Peak Family Dental Care can help alleviate some of the excruciating and debilitating pain associated with them.
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
There are a number of reasons why people can develop TMJ disorders. Among the most common include direct trauma to the jaw itself. In other cases, repetitive teeth grinding, arthritis, or other types of stress can be risk factors for TMJ disorders. In other cases, the problem could be genetic. Maybe your jaw doesn’t line up quite perfectly with your skull.
How Do I Know if I Have a TMJ Disorder?
Symptoms of TMJ disorders include:
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw
- Pain in your cheeks
- Ear pain
- Difficulty chewing
- Clicking or popping in the jaw
Note that some folks who experience clicking or popping in their jaw, occasional headaches, and some mild pain don’t necessarily need treatment for TMJ disorders. The more severe your symptoms are, the more urgently you should seek treatment.
What to Expect from a TMJ Disorder Examination
During the examination, your doctor will discuss your symptoms with you and feel your jaw as you open and close it shut. Your doctor will note the range of motion of your jaw. Then they will determine which areas of your jaw are in the most pain.
At this point, your doctor may order x-rays, an MRI, or CT scan depending on where they think the injury is. If the injury is to the TMJ disc, and MRI is required.
How Can Peak Family Dental Care Help?
Peak Family Dental Care can help fit you with a bite guard that relieves stress on the joint.
The bite guards are generally worn while you are sleeping, but some can be worn all the time. The bite guard not only inhibits the negative impact of teeth grinding, but it also helps joint and jaw muscles relax.
The bite guards are custom-fitted to your mouth and require an impression of your teeth to create.
Call Peak Family Dental Care Today
If you are experiencing jaw pain, your dentist may be able to help treat the underlying cause: inflammation to the TMJ. Before you try surgery or other invasive procedures, set up an appointment at Peak Family Dental Care today to learn if a bite guard is right for you.