The temporomandibular joints, called TMJ, are the joints and jaw muscles that are responsible for the working of the mouth. Located on each side of the head, the TMJ muscles work together to allow you to speak or swallow. They also control the lower jaw as it moves forward, backward and side to side.
Each TMJ has a disc-like muscle between the ball and socket. The disc cushions the load while enabling the jaw to open, rotate or glide. Any problem that prevents this system of muscles to flex easily and ligaments, discs, and bones from working properly could result in a painful TMJ disorder. At Austin Dental Care, we give you expert advice on the right TMJ Treatment for you.
Causes Of TMJ Disorder
- Tooth and jaw alignment
- Stress and teeth grinding
Diagnosis is a vital step before TMJ Treatment. A part of the dental examination procedure includes checking the joints and muscles for tenderness, clicking, popping or difficulty moving. Depending on the diagnosis, the Westlake dentist may refer you to a physician or an oral surgeon.
Symptoms Of TMJ
Common symptoms include:
- Pain and tenderness around jaw, cheeks, ears, and neck
- Headaches or migraines
- Jaw pain or stiffness
- Popping, grating, or clicking jaw
- Inability to open jaw completely, locking jaws
- Painful chewing
- Tired feeling in the face
Points To Discuss With Your Dentist For TMJ Treatment Options
Since TMJ symptoms can involve the jaw, ear, nose, throat, face, neck, upper back, and even eyes, patients often shuffle between dentist and ENT to treat them. Austin Dental Care with their team of Westlake dentists advises you to take it slow and make sure you fully understand your options, their potential side effects, before agreeing to TMJ treatment.
Give Your Jaw A Break: In minor cases, TMJ symptoms can go away just by giving the overworked jaw muscles a rest. If you’re experiencing clicking or popping sounds when you yawn or open your mouth wide, try not to open wide for the next few days.
Muscle Relaxation Exercises: Just like a muscle that cramps from overuse, your jaw can cramp from too much use as well. Yet a few simple exercises can help you learn how to rectify abnormal jaw positioning and relax tense jaw muscles that can contribute to TMJ pain.
Improve Posture: Poor posture also affects jaw positioning. It places the spine in a position that causes stress to the TMJ. When people slouch or hunch over, the lower jaw shifts forward, causing the upper and lower teeth to move such that they don’t fit together.
Bite Guards: Many Westlake Dentals will recommend custom bite guards to reduce clenching and grinding of teeth to reduce stress on the TMJ. These guards help the jaw alignment so that the joint can rest.
Seeking Help for TMJ Treatment
TMJ affects people in different ways so you should choose a TMJ treatment plan which is specifically planned for you. Austin Dental Care provides you professional help to choose customized TMJ treatment for yourself.