The Temporomandibular Joints are among the most important joints of the human body. They are present right under the ears and help to connect the lower jaw to the skull. The TMJ comes into the picture every time we move the jaw, such as while chewing food, talking, yawning, laughing, etc. Sometimes, the muscles and tissues around the TMJ could experience severe stresses and inflammation, resulting in a condition called TMD (TMJ disorder), which can cause severe pain and discomfort.
What causes TMD?
- Frequent snacking, which can put a lot of stress on the facial muscles near the TMJ
- Sustaining external trauma to the TMJ
- Improper sleeping positions
- Subconscious grinding of teeth and clenching the jaw
- Bite issues or malocclusion
What are the symptoms?
- Patients with TMD often find it difficult to bite and chew food like they normally do. This is due to the pain and discomfort caused by the stressed-out muscles.
- Persistent headaches
- Swelling around the TMJ
- Limited movement of the lower jaw
How is TMD treated?
The simplest and most effective way of treating TMD is by massaging the facial tissues around the TMJ. This helps to relieve them of the stress and enables the better movement of the lower jaw. The dentist may conduct a thorough diagnosis and suggest suitable massage therapy to alleviate the condition. Further, the dentist may prescribe a suitable mouthguard to limit the stress applied to the TMJs. It also prevents contact between the teeth of either jaw, which eliminates excessive teeth wear. In the case of bruxism, a night-time bruxism guard may be recommended.
If all treatment methods fail to provide relief, surgery may be the last resort means to treat the condition.
Please do reach out to us on call or by scheduling an online consultation with our Dentist Orem, UT, and we’ll be glad to assist you further.