If you have pain or popping in your jaw when you open your mouth or chew, you could have a problem with your temporomandibular joint. This joint allows you to move your jaw up and down as well as side to side. If you have pain, clicking, or even suffer periods when your jaw locks shut or open, you could be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder, which is referred to TMJ/TMD.
What It Does
TMJ/TMD generally causes pain in your jaw when you are chewing or speaking. You’ll also notice that your jaw seems to pop or grind when you move it up and down or side to side. Additionally, it is also common for sufferers to have headaches, pain in the ear, swelling of the face on one side, and it can even cause the jaw to lock. All of these issues are unpleasant, and with proper treatment from your dentist, you don’t have to deal with them any longer.
While the actual cause of the condition can’t be pinpointed to a single cause, stress, whiplash, grinding your teeth and arthritis are all known conditions that can make it worse. By knowing what triggers your pain and discomfort, you’ll be better able to control it so that it doesn’t have such an effect on your life.
When you visit your dentist about TMJ/TMD, you’ll have a physical exam to make sure things are functioning properly, and to see where any pain or tenderness is located. You will also need to have a few x-rays to help your dentist gain a better understanding of your condition and what can be done about it.
Treatment options can vary widely, with some simply having to use anti-inflammatory medications and switching to softer foods when pain is present. However, others may need special appliances that keep the jaw positioned correctly at night. Still others might require medications that help them handle their stress to eliminate teeth grinding. Your dentist may also recommend cosmetic dentistry options to help deal with the wear and tear on your teeth that has already occurred due to the grinding.
No matter how often you suffer from TMJ/TMD pain and discomfort, it can become quite painful – not to mention embarrassing if the joint locks your mouth open or closed in social situations. The sooner you seek treatment from Drs. Galligan & Villa Dental Studio, the sooner you can put the pain behind you.
Contact our office today to schedule your next appointment.