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All Posts in Category: TMJ

a dental patient with TMJ disorder

What Could be Causing Your Head and Neck Pain?

Have you ever experienced pain or swelling in your face, head, or neck area? Do you have trouble chewing or feel discomfort in your jaw area when eating? While head and neck pain may be caused by a number of different reasons, there may be a specific underlying cause of these symptoms. These are just a few symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), which affects your temporomandibular joints (TMJ). This disorder is most common among people between the ages of 20 and 40. While the direct cause of TMD is unknown, some reasons may include jaw injury, teeth grinding or clinching, or joint arthritis. Additional symptoms of TMD can include: jaw popping and stiffness, migraines or frequent head and neckaches, misaligned teeth, eye pain, and ear aches.

Experiencing any of these symptoms? Here’s what to do!

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to visit a dental specialist that focuses on diagnosing and treating TMD-related symptoms. Proper diagnosis of TMD from a dental specialist can set you on the right track to freedom from head, neck or jaw pain and swelling, or, if you do not have TMD, your dental specialist can refer you to alternative care. Your dentist can evaluate your symptoms and create a customized treatment plan specifically for you. We specialize in treating TMD and offer a few great options to minimize your symptoms and prevent your TMD from becoming more severe. These include:

  • Relaxing your face: keep this rule in mind- “lips together, teeth apart”
  • Avoid teeth grinding
  • Avoid constant gum chewing
  • Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
  • Practice good posture: keep your head up, back straight and shoulders squared

While head and neck pain along with other discomforts can be quite disruptive, visiting a dental specialist can help you discover and treat the cause.

Ready to Get Started?

Contact our office and get started on a path to freedom from head and neck today!

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TMJ Disorder: Symptoms And Warning Signs

TMJ Disorder Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, commonly referred to as TMJ is a disorder that is directly related to problems with your jaw as well as the joint surrounding the facial muscles. TMJ disorder can be caused by a variety of things whether it be poor posture or stress that results in clenching your jaw. No matter how TMJ is caused if you have it it’s important to get it treated by a dental professional as soon as possible.

Pain or Tenderness Also, the pain or tenderness is a major warning sign that you are suffering from TMJ disorder and you can typically feel this tenderness when you are opening or closing your jaw. Also, the pain related to TMJ can transfer itself to your face, neck, or shoulders. To learn more about these symptoms read below.

Stuck Jaw The main sign that those who suffer from TMJ typically notice that their jaw is locking when they try to speak or chew. Also, there have been reports that those who suffer will be unable to open their mouth very wide. Also, chewing and speaking might be difficult or often impossible depending on the pain.

Odd Noises TMJ syndrome can cause a person who suffers from it to hear noises when they are opening or closing their mouth. In these cases, the sufferer might hear a popping or clicking sound or a ringing in their ear.

Other Symptoms While pain, tightness and clicking noises are the most common symptoms, people who might suffer from TMJ should call a doctor for any of the following reasons that are listed directly below:
  • Painful Facial swelling
  • Toothaches or earaches
  • Aches in the head or neck
  • Pain in the upper shoulder
  • Experiencing any dizziness
Minor cases of TMJ are likely to go away on their own. However, many people suffer from severe or prolonged symptoms. If you are in need of TMJ treatment contact our office to make an appointment.
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how to diagnose tmj disorder

How to Diagnose TMJ Disorder

Temporomandibular joints, also commonly referred to as TMJ are some of the joint muscles in the face. They are located near the ear, at the point where your jawbone meets your skull. The TMJ is the joint used to open and shut your mouth, heavily moved while eating or speaking. So when this joint begins to severely ache and cause massive pain, it is a serious problem.  

If you are experiencing pain in your TMJ often, you should seek dental attention, as soon as you possibly can – you may be experiencing the discomfort from a TMJ disorder. There are many reasons you could be experiencing the pain. Most common, TMJ causes come from arthritis, dislocation, or grinding of the teeth from stress.  

When you go to a doctor for medical attention, they will run a series of tests on you to ensure they treat the correct thing. There also are tests you can perform on yourself before seeing your doctor, to make sure you are describing the proper symptoms. The tests you as well as your doctor will perform are basic, but they do the trick. When you or they are making sure it is in fact the TMJ you are feeling the pain from, they will touch the side of your jaw for any swelling or tenderness. Another test you may go through is seeing if the jaw is making any noise when it is moved. After a few rounds of different checks, your doctor may diagnose you with TMJ disorder.  

If you are experiencing these symptoms, and have been diagnosed, treatments you may be advised to follow include:
  • Exercising the jaw muscles
  • A night guard to stop grinding your teeth
  • Or even muscle relaxers
  If these treatments do not work in your situation, your dentist then may need to do a jaw adjustment or reshape your teeth for the proper bite. See your dental medical professional if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. It is important to take care of your overall health, so schedule a consultation.
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