What is TMJ?

Commonly called by its acronym, Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) is a serious issue concerning the muscles and joints in the jaw. If you have ever experienced jaw popping or clicking sounds, you may be experiencing TMJ symptoms. However, you will know if you have TMJ when you experience intense pain in your jaw. Unfortunately, jaw pain is one of the main determinants of TMJ.

What Causes TMJ?

TMJ can be caused by a lot of different factors, which include:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Jaw Injury
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Excessive chewing
  • Arthritis
  • Misalignment of Teeth

Much of the cause of TMJ jaw pain is from the misalignment of your jaw or teeth. This misalignment can be the result of poor jaw development or an accidental injury. TMJ can also be caused by teeth grinding in the night or during the day. When you grind your teeth, you are wearing the muscles around the jaw joint. Overuse of these muscles can cause TMJ issues and result in joint pain. For example, even if you are not genetically prone to this disorder or have had any accidental injuries that have affected your jaw, overuse of the joint through activities, such as chewing gum, can lead to the development of TMJ.

 

What are the TMJ Symptoms?

If you hear jaw clicking, this may be the first sign of the jaw disorder. If you feel any pain or tenderness around the jaw area and the joint, you may have TMJ. Patients with the disorder have often referred to the pain of TMJ as resembling something like an intense toothache. If your jaw pain develops to include pain in your mouth, face, and tongue, you should seek medical help right away. Living with TMJ can be a challenge and will get worse without proper treatment. For instance, if you let your TMJ go untreated, or continue the behavior that caused the development of the disorder, TMJ could become significantly worse. TMJ could cause your jaw to lock or limit the ability to open your mouth all the way. Aside from that, the pain from the disorder will only increase and make it difficult to talk or eat large, whole foods.

What are Your TMJ Treatment Options?

If you are suffering from these symptoms, the best way to treat them is by going to a professional. When you go to a TMJ specialist, they will be able to determine the extent of your disorder and what course of treatment you should undergo. There are many methods of treatment for TMJ, including:

  1. Dental Splints
  2. Botoxical Injections
  3. Physical Therapy
  4. Prescription Medications
  5. Surgery

Depending on the severity of your symptoms and the level of pain you are enduring, your treatment options will adjust. For example, most TMJ cases will be prescripted physical therapy, as a way to relax the jaw muscles and fix the alignment of the joint.

Dr. Brad Edgren

If you are suffering with these symptoms, you don’t have to! Visit our office today and receive treatment for your TMJ symptoms!