Most people don’t give a second thought to their temporomandibular joints until the TMJ begins to cause pain. If speaking, chewing, and swallowing have become painful and uncomfortable burdens, you are most likely suffering from a TMJ disorder.
You are hardly alone! As many as 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorders that cause pain and dysfunction when the jaw moves. You don’t need to endure this health condition alone; your dentist can evaluate your mouth and recommend treatments to heal your TMJ and help you chew, swallow, and speak without pain.
What Are TMJ Disorders?
TMJ disorders are any problems that impact the temporomandibular joints that connect the lower jaw to the side of the head. In a healthy mouth, these joints are flexible in order to allow the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side. A fully functioning TMJ makes it possible to chew and talk with ease.
However, many types of trauma can trigger the development of a TMJ disorder. The most common sources of trauma include teeth grinding, tooth and jaw misalignment, injury, and arthritis.
Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?
Many people experience a clicking noise in the jaw when chewing, talking, or yawning, but that alone does not indicate a TMJ disorder. If you experience any of the other symptoms on a regular basis, you need to see your dentist for help:
- Pain down the jaw and neck
- Jaw muscle stiffness
- Noticeable change in bite
- Limited jaw movement
- Any of the above symptoms paired with facial pain
How Can a TMJ Disorder Be Treated?
You can help alleviate symptoms of your TMJ disorder at home by eating softer foods, practicing relaxation techniques that minimize jaw tension, and using heat packs to reduce pain.
It’s also essential that you visit a trusted dentist to find out if a mouth guard, physical therapy, or minimally invasive procedure could reverse your TMJ disorder.
When your teeth need to be saved, call (813) 570-6887 to make an appointment at Citrus Endodontics in Tampa, Florida. The specialists at Citrus Endodontics are committed to preserving your smile.