Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can cause you pain for a number of different reasons. When pain is present, this is known as TMJ disorder or dysfunction (TMD).
What exactly is my TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint is where the region in your skull, known as the temporal bone, touches your mandible, your lower jawbone thats keeps your lower bottom teeth in place. Your TMJ gives your jaw certain functionality, like allowing it to move up and down and from side-to-side.
Why is my TMJ causing me pain?
There are several reasons why your TMJ can cause you pain. Some common attributes include: genetics, arthritis, anxiety, stress, and injuries. Overtime these issues in your TMJ can turn into TMD.
Some individuals are more susceptible to TMD than others. While both men and women are often diagnosed with TMD, it is more common among women than men.
Some people may be predisposed to TMD. Your bone structure and joints can also contribute to TMD.
Overtime, the interior of your temporomandibular can weaken and depreciate. This can be caused by a specific type of arthritis called osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis is more commonly seen in older patients than younger ones. Other kinds of arthritis in your TMJ may be caused by gout of rheumatoid arthritis.
Certain pressures on your TMJ, like clenching your jaw, can eventually turn into TMD. For many, putting pressure on your TMJ and clenching the muscles throughout the day may feel normal and you aren’t aware you’re even doing it. This subconscious stress can also lead you to grind your teeth.
Clenching or Grinding
Many individuals clench or grind their teeth throughout the day without even noticing they’re doing it. Many individuals that clench and grind their teeth do so at night while they’re asleep.
TMD is caused when there are certain stressors or displacement in the your TMJ. An injury like a dislocated jaw can lead to TMD. Studies show other trauma, such as an instant blow, can also result in TMD.
How can I relieve the pain caused by TMD?
Fortunately, our team at Dental Group at Polaris is specially trained to combat TMD with several different treatment options. Many of these treatments are painless. We also offer more sophisticated treatments to help alleviate your pain caused by TMD.
Changing Your Diet
Adjusting your diet to include more soft foods may relieve some pain caused by TMD.
While every patient is unique, we may suggest a hot/cold treatment to help alleviate some pain associated with TMD.
You can take immediate action against TMD with over the counter medicine. We may prescribe you with medication if you are experiencing more severe pain.
Stress reduction therapy, massages, and meditation can help diminish the pain and pressures on your TMJ.
There are specific exercises you can practice to help alleviate pain caused by TMJ. Make sure to speak with a professional before engaging in physical therapy.
A night guard can be used to keep your bottom and top teeth from touching and grinding and clenching at night. We may also suggest wearing a dental guard throughout the day.
If you have missing, damaged, or misaligned teeth that are triggering stress and pain, we may use crown, partial dentures, or braces to help alleviate these discomforts.
Dental implants or other dental surgeries can and may be needed to help ease your pain caused by TMD.
Our team at Dental Group at Polaris collaborates with premier medical professionals in the Lewis Center, Powell, Westerville, and Galena area to provide you with the best treatment for your TMD.
How do I know if I have TMD?
If you experience pain or issues you suspect may be caused by TMD, we suggest making an appointment with us before these problems worsen.
Pain or discomfort associated with TMD can include:
Trouble opening your mouth wide
Fatigue in your face
Tenderness or pain in your teeth, jaw joint area, face, ears, neck, head and/or shoulders
Your jaws gets stuck open or closed
Swelling in the sides of your face
While these can be symptoms of other issues, we suggest making an appointment to see us so we can better assess them.
We check your jaw and bite during your dental examination to see if you have any signs of TMJ issues, regardless if you have any symptoms. This, along with X-Ray images, MRI test, and/or CT scans we aid us in diagnosing TMD.
Dental Group at Polaris has helped clients with TMJ issues for over 31 years. While some TMJ issues are fairly easy to fix or alleviate, others require more attention.
If you experience any pain or discomfort mentioned above, call us at (614) 888-3692 to have your TMJ examined by our knowledgeable staff. With over three decades of experience, we have the knowledge and expertise to properly diagnose and treat your TMJ.
In need of immediate care?
We offer emergency phone consultations to our existing patients. Call us anytime at (614) 888-3692.