If you experience headaches in the morning, pain or a popping sound when opening your mouth, or ear fullness and pain, you may have a TMJ disorder. What exactly are TMJ disorders, and how are they treated? Our team at Essential Dentistry is here to walk you through what TMJ disorders are and how you can find TMJ treatment near you.
What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ refers to your temporomandibular joints, which allow you to move your jaw up and down, side to side, and back and forth so that you can speak, chew, and swallow with ease.
TMJ disorders refer to specific types of problems with the temporomandibular joints. These problems can include dysfunction with the disc, ball, or socket of the joint or with the muscles, bone, and ligaments surrounding the joint.
TMJ disorders are caused by a variety of things, such as:
- Issues with the alignment of your teeth or jaw
- Connective tissue disease
- Chronic teeth clenching and grinding
How Are TMJ Disorders Diagnosed?
It is important to receive a proper diagnosis and recommendations for TMJ therapy near you. Many of the symptoms of TMJ disorders overlap with other conditions, so it can be tough to diagnose accurately. Some symptoms of TMJ disorders can include:
- Discomfort, pain, or sensitivity around your jaw, ears, and neck
- Headaches, toothaches, and earaches
- Popping, grating, or clicking sounds when chewing or yawning
- Pain, swelling, or fatigue in your face
- Limited range of motion in your jaw
- Discomfort when speaking, eating, or chewing
If you are experiencing any of the above, it is a good idea to visit a dentist in Okotoks for expert advice. They can determine the source of your problem by examining your jaw to determine its range of motion and areas of discomfort, as well as take x-rays to view the structure of your teeth and jaw.
Options for Treatment
There are many conservative treatment options available for TMJ disorders before your dentist near you will have to resort to more extreme measures such as surgery. It is always in your best interest to try the conservative approach before seeking more extensive treatment options. Some conservative treatment options are:
- Avoid gum, nail-biting, and difficult-to-chew foods
- Try not to engage in large movements involving your jaw, such as singing or yelling
- Practice proper posture
- Try to reduce your stress levels
- Wear a mouthguard at night to reduce the pressure from clenching and grinding
- Apply hot compresses to your face
- Use anti-inflammatory medications to manage pain and swelling
You must follow the recommendations set out by your dental professional. Only take medications as instructed and be diligent about following your prescribed routine.
If the conservative approach does not work for you, then your dentist may offer other options for TMJ therapy in Okotoks, including:
- Radio wave therapy
- Therapy using electrical currents
- Trigger-point injections
- Open-joint surgery
- Orthodontic treatment to align your bite
Visit Essential Dentistry
TMJ disorders can be stressful, frustrating, debilitating, and unpleasant, but you can rest assured that our team at Essential Dentistry has several available treatment options. The best way to decrease your pain is to reduce stressors in your life and check in with your dentist for a professional opinion. If you are experiencing any TMJ-related pain, please don’t hesitate to contact our team and book an appointment today.