The temporomandibular joint is the hinge-like joint connecting the jaw to the skull. This joint and the surrounding muscles are the ones used in mastication. This joint becomes damaged by teeth or jaw injury, misalignment of the teeth, grinding and clenching the teeth, stress, arthritis and gum chewing. When this joint is not functioning properly, eating is very difficult. The damage of this joint is called temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMJ/TMD for short.
Some symptoms of TMJ/TMD are a clicking or grating sound while chewing, a popping or clicking of the jaw, pain or tenderness in the neck, toothaches, headaches and lockjaw. If you have any of these symptoms or think you may have TMJ, call our office for an appointment for general dentistry. Our dentists can examine your mouth and jaw and prescribe a treatment to provide relief and comfort.
Jaw Pain, Facial Pain Relief!
A few of the treatments for TMJ/TMD are medications, bite guards and physical therapy. The medications often prescribed by a dentist are non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, sedatives and muscle relaxants for nerve pain. Depending on the severity as well as the time you are most often involuntarily clenching and grinding your teeth, various bite guards are recommended. Some of these are splints, mouth guards, nightguards and prosthodontics. Physical therapy is a focus in this treatment.
The dentist may recommend physical therapy such as self-care techniques for stress management and relaxation. Often TMJ/TMD is the result of intense concentration and situational stress and anxiety. Consciously relaxing your face and paying attention to when you are most often clenching and grinding your teeth is the first step. From there, you can work on minimizing your stressors whenever possible.
Contact us today and schedule an appointment with a dentist at South Blvd Dentistry to be fitted with a bite guard, prescribed medication for pain or given more tips on self-care techniques for oral health. Our office is open five days a week for same day appointments and by appointment on Saturdays. We may be able to get you in as soon as today.