FAQs and Answers About TMJ Disorder
Your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, connects your jaw and our temporal bones of you skull. Essentially, it is the hinge that moves when you open and close your mouth. Since the TMJ gets a lot of wear and tear, it is prone to developing issues. These issues are usually referred to as TMJ disorders. If you have a TMJ disorder, your dentist may recommend a few different treatment strategies, including wearing a night guard that holds your jaw in a healthy position. If you’ve been diagnosed with a TMJ disorder, you probably have several questions about your condition and the treatments that are available. These answers to questions that patients frequently have about TMJ disorders may help.
What caused my condition?
There is a long list of things that can cause TMJ disorders. In some instances, arthritis develops as the result of wear and tear on the joint. Injuries, including jaw dislocations, can also be to blame. Some people have alignment issues with their teeth and jaw that causes pain and inflammation to develop. Stress is another significant contributing factor with TMJ disorders. Many people grind their teeth and clench their jaws when they are stressed, even without realizing it is happening. This can easily trigger a TMJ disorder.
How will I know if I have a TMJ disorder?
If you have a TMJ disorder, you may notice that you’re having more frequent headaches than normal and that your jaw feels sore when you’re eating and speaking. Your jaw may also be sensitive to the touch. In some severe cases, TMJ may make your jaw feel like it is locked, so that it is difficult to open and close your mouth. If you experience these symptoms, see your dentist for a definitive diagnosis.
What treatments are available?
The treatments your dentist recommends depend on many factors, including the type and severity of your symptoms. In some cases, treating the pain with heat packs and performing relaxing techniques can solve the issue. In other cases, a night guard or medication may be necessary.
At the office of John Carson, DDS, we offer multiple treatment options for TMJ disorders in Tucson, including splint therapy. Schedule an appointment for a consultation by calling (520) 514-7203.