Have you noticed any unusual facial pain or tenderness in your jaw lately? Does your jaw pop, lock up, or crackle when you chew, talk, or yawn? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have temporomandibular joint dysfunction, also known as TMJ or TMD.
What Causes TMJ?
Temporomandibular disorders usually result from inflammation of the joint or muscles of mastication. This can be due to excessive jaw clenching or jaw movement, which most of us do subconsciously during the day or in our sleep. Other common contributing factors to TMJ issues include stress, gum chewing, teeth grinding and trauma. The good news is there are many forms of TMJ treatment that can help relieve your jaw pain.
TMJ Treatment Options
Some options for treating your jaw pain are: anti-inflammatories or prescription muscle relaxants, practicing relaxation techniques to reduce stress, the use of custom-made oral appliances; botox; and in very severe cases, open joint surgery. It’s important to seek out treatment for your TMJ since the longer it goes untreated the more damage it can cause to your upper and lower teeth, your jaw bone and surrounding muscle groups. For example, if you are grinding your teeth from side to side all night long, every night, your teeth can become worn down and damaged, without you even being conscious of it.
If you’d like to learn more about your TMJ or what treatment options are available for you, call our Seven Star Dental team today for a consultation!