TMD affects the jaw joints and the muscles that control it. The temporomandibular joint is located at the base of your skull. It is commonly referred to as the TMJ. We use this joint for chewing, talking, and other mouth movements. TMJ disorders affect the functioning of TMJ. Although some cases of TMJ disorders resolve themselves within a short period, others require medical attention. For instance, if you have ongoing or recurring pain or discomfort in your jaw joints or muscles, you should seek professional help. Our dentist at Parkside Dental will assess, diagnose and recommend the best treatment option.
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ
The most prominent sign of TMJ is pain. Patients have reported experiencing pain when moving the jaw. You may also have headaches, migraines, neck aches, or backache. Pain inside and around the ear is also common in TMJ patients. Unusual sounds are also indicators of TMJ disorder. They include unusual popping and clicking or grinding noises. You should be alarmed only if the sounds occur alongside pain or limited jaw movement. You should also look out for buzzing, ringing, or numbness alongside earaches. The other symptom is restricted movement. The disorder may prevent the mouth from opening fully or from moving the jaw in certain directions.
Causes of TMJ
This disorder can be caused by too much strain on jaw joints and surrounding muscles. You may strain your jaw due to grinding or after an injury to your jaw, head, or neck. Some cases of TMJ are a result of other health conditions. These include arthritis and growth disorders. Structural jaw disorders present at birth may progress to TMJ disorder. Wearing of the joint is known to cause this disorder. Other factors like hormones, poor posture, and joint hypermobility are often associated with the development of TMJ disorders. Some of these symptoms are recurrent. Thus, identifying your triggers will help prevent a recurrence.
TMJ disorders are difficult to diagnose since there are no standard tests. We use physical examination and advanced imaging tests to support your diagnosis. First, our specialists will examine you to see if you have any swelling or tenderness. We also check if you can open your mouth without any pain or discomfort. The physical exam also confirms any TMJ noises or lack thereof. Advanced imaging tests we use to clarify your diagnosis include x-rays, CT scans and MRIs. Your past medical history will reveal any medical conditions that are associated with this condition.
Treatment Options for TMJ
Treatment options for TMJ include self-care practices and changes in lifestyle. This option is ideal if you are experiencing mild-to-moderate symptoms. Self-treatment includes reducing jaw movement, gentle exercise, and massaging the affected muscles. The second option is treating the pre-existing condition. For instance, if the disorder is caused by tooth grinding, we provide a mouthguard to ease the symptoms. In extreme cases of TMJ, we recommend surgery to eliminate the pain and restore jaw movement.
Botox works by using a special form of botulinum toxin that can selectively paralyze the nerves of your face. When you’re injected with Botox, the muscles near the injection site will stop responding to nerve signals, since the Botox product blocks these signals.
To learn more on treatment options for TMD disorder, visit us at Parkside Dental. You can also call us at 972-442-7550 to book an appointment with our specialists.