TMJ—Recognizing Symptoms and Identifying Causes

TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, affects over 35 million Americans. Not only is significant pain associated with TMJ, but if left untreated, it can lead to further dental and facial complications. This article will be of assistance in recognizing the symptoms of TMJ, as well as its possible causes. TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, affects over 35 million Americans. Not only is significant pain associated with it, but if left untreated, it can lead to further dental and facial complications. If you suspect you have the problem, seek the advice of your local dentist, who will be able to diagnose and properly advise you. This article will also be of assistance in recognizing the symptoms, as well as its possible causes.

TMJ frequently causes pain to its sufferer, but not all patients experience pain with the disorder. With or without pain, the main identifier is problems with the jaw. It is easy to see why so many people have this disorder, as the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaw bone to the skull, is one of the most frequently used joints in the whole body.

Symptoms of TMJ:

  • Chronic headache
  • Feeling your bite is off center
  • Aching and/or ringing in your ears
  • Jaw locks
  • Jaw has sudden limited range of movement
  • Jaw clicks or feels as if the joint grinds during movement
  • Dizziness, vision or hearing problems

If you are experiencing even some jaw stiffness or otherwise unexplainable shoulder and neck discomfort, TMJ may be the culprit and a consultation with a dental professional is advisable. The above list is not a complete list, as this disorder can manifest itself in many different ways.

Possible Causes of TMJ Disorder:

  • Injury or trauma to the jaw area
  • Dental procedures or surgery requiring a breathing tube
  • Chronic grinding of teeth
  • Arthritis
  • Family History

If you have been diagnosed with it, there are ways you can ease your symptoms yourself. Eating soft foods and applying moist heat can stave off the pain. Additionally, avoidance of chewing gum and exaggerated jaw movements like singing and yawning can further alleviate the symptoms. There are also various jaw exercises that can be done to strengthen the area and work in the prevention of symptoms.

When medical intervention is necessary, it can also be very effective. Oftentimes, dentists create mouth guards specifically for discouraging teeth grinding. This is why it is important to understand the causes of your own problem. If your disorder is not caused by grinding, this treatment option is less likely to be effective. Bite therapy is another measure dentists take, which works to better align the teeth in bite position. By providing more efficient alignment, less stress is placed on the jaw muscles to contract, thus mitigating further joint stress.

Now you know what causes it and how you can alleviate your symptoms on your own. While these tips can assist

in your daily comfort level, only a qualified dentist can officially diagnose the problem and work up an effective treatment plan for you to discourage any pain and complications from untreated TMJ. Call for this TMJ specialist los angeles website today if you suspect you may have TMJ, and soon you’ll be getting the answers you need to be symptom-free!

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