Have you ever experienced pain or swelling in your face or neck area? Do you have trouble chewing or feel discomfort in your jaw area when eating? These are just a few symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder. Also known as TMJ, this disorder is most common among people between the ages of 20 and 40. While the specific cause of TMJ is unknown, some reasons may include jaw injury, teeth grinding or clinching, or joint arthritis. Additional symptoms of TMJ can include: jaw popping and stiffness, migraines, misaligned teeth, eye pain, and ear aches. A dentist in Charlotte, NC may suggest different treatment options for you to help mediate and relieve the pain caused by TMJ and any other associated symptoms.
What is the Temporomandibular (TMJ) Joint?
The TMJ links your jaw to your skull. It gives your jaw the range of motion to speak, chew food, laugh and allows your jaw to move up and down and side to side. This joint is more complicated than other joints in the body due to its juncture and different ranges of motion.
There are several treatment options for relieving the pain associated with TMJ, including:
- Changing your daily lifestyle: Avoid consuming hard or extremely chewy foods. Reducing your stress level can stop behaviors like jaw clinching or teeth grinding. Try to avoid yawning widely or chewing gum on a consistent basis.
- Dentist prescribed treatments. If you have tried over-the-counter medication and have made the necessary changes in your daily lifestyle, but are still experiencing TMJ headaches, you can book an appointment with a dentist in Charlotte, NC and they can prescribe some medication that may be more suitable and effective than what you are currently taking. You may also be referred to receiving mouth guarding devices to minimize and protect your teeth from grinding.
- Surgical treatments. Orthodontic, corrective treatment may permanently change your bite to aid in TMJ pain relief.
Interested in learning more?
What is TMJ?, Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/tmj-headache#outlook