What is the TMJ dysfunction?
Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) is an issue which causes pain in the jaw joint and muscles. Issues associated with your jaw and facial muscles are medically known as Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD).
The TMJ is the joint on either side of your head that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull (temporal bone) in front of the ear. The facial muscles that control chewing are also connected to the lower jaw.
The problem occurs when the joints become out of line or stop moving as they should be. It can affect only one side or both sides of your face.
Issues with the joint can cause many other issues such as but not limited to:
- Neck pain
- Facial pain
- Headaches (migraines have been linked to TMJ pain)
- Locked jaw
- Jaw movement difficulty
- Chewing and biting problems
- Jaw clicking and popping
- Stiffness of muscles in jaw and neck
- Shoulder pain
What causes TMD?
The issue can be caused by a number of different things, such as:
- Excessive chewing
- Jaw clenching and teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Wear and tear of the TMJ (can be caused by arthritis)
- Dental tooth issues, such as an uneven bite
- Injury to the jaw and teeth
- Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and fibromyalgia
However, some people can develop TMD without an obvious cause.
What are TMD treatment options?
If your TMJ, jawbone or facial muscles hurt for more than a short period of time, it’s important to seek help from a doctor or dentist. Our friendly dentists at Honeysuckle Dental are able to examine your jaw and offer appropriate treatment.
Receiving treatment is important to reduce chances of your condition worsening and potentially causing permanent joint and oral damage. The long-term consequences may involve permanently damaging the TMJ disc, tissues, causing arthritis or chronic pain.
To reduce pain and discomfort, we recommend:
- Soft food is important
- Cut food into small pieces
- Avoid excessive chewing
- Avoid grinding your teeth
- Avoid clenching your jaw (mouthguards help overnight)
- Avoid opening your mouth widely
- Relaxation techniques
TMD can be temporary, but unfortunately it can also last several years.
At Honeysuckle Dental, we can examine your jaw alignment and functions. If we believe you suffer from TMD we can provide you with suitable treatment. Treatment can be done without surgery, however in more severe cases, surgery may be required.
Talking to one of the professionals at Honeysuckle Dental is the first step to receiving a diagnosis and beginning treatment. So please get in contact for more information or to book a consultation regarding TMD or any other dental issue you have, please click here.