istock 1022293700 1 The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, connects your jaw to your skull, making it one of the most complex joints in your body. It’s important to functions such as talking, chewing and yawning. TMJ disorders can cause debilitating pain, discomfort and a loss of function. It’s important to find the cause of your TMJ disorder to find a long-term solution and lasting relief. Read on to learn more about TMJ disorders and the various treatment options available.

People who have TMJ disorders complain of jaw or ear pain or discomfort, difficulty chewing, tinnitus, facial pain, lockjaw, headaches, an uneven or uncomfortable bite, limited mobility in the mouth or a clicking, popping or grating sound in the jaw when opening or closing your mouth. Other symptoms include facial swelling, a dull toothache affecting many teeth, neck pain, dizziness, numbness and tingling. If you have worn, chipped or broken teeth, or broken fillings, or if the position or shape of your smile has changed, you can benefit from TMJ treatment.

It can be difficult to determine the exact cause of TMJ disorders, but finding an exact cause can help pinpoint a solution that can offer long-lasting relief. Whiplash from a car accident or a jarring blow can cause trauma to the jaw, TMJ, head muscles or neck muscles. Misaligned or missing teeth, pressure caused by grinding or clenching your teeth, joint damage caused by arthritis, stress and allergies are some of the other possible causes.

Once the diagnosis is made, your initial treatment plan will focus on relieving the pain and discomfort. This could include analgesia or anti-inflammatory medications, moist heat such as a warm towel, physical therapy, myofunctional therapy or Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation (TENS) therapy to help relax your head and neck muscles,

Once you have the pain under control, the underlying cause is the next focus to determine the best long-term solution. These treatments include implant dentistry, orthodontics, orthopedic appliances or fixing the bite of the upper and lower teeth.

TMJ dysfunction affects 75 million people at one time. If you’ve been experiencing symptoms that could be related to TMJ disorder, schedule an appointment by calling our office at 713-425-1302 today.

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