Are you experiencing jaw pain, clicking noises when you open or close your mouth, even headaches or earaches? If so, you could be suffering from TMJ disorder (otherwise known as TMD). The temporomandibular joints are essentially the hinges which allow your jaw to work. Certain conditions or events can cause dysfunction in the muscles, ligaments, or bones involved in this vital system, resulting in pain and reduced function.
TMJ syndrome affects an estimated ten million people in the United States or more. This problem can affect all aspects of your quality of life, preventing you from fully enjoying eating, and plaguing you with head and/or neck pain. Even worse, if your TMJ goes unchecked, you could suffer from tooth wear caused by nocturnal bruxism (night grinding).
The good news is that TMJ treatments are typically fairly non-invasive, and can offer relief from all of the associated symptoms. It’s important to address the issue as soon as possible, however. Tooth damage can lead to more extensive, and more expensive and painful, treatment needs.
If you suspect your jaw function has been compromised, consult with a reliable Amarillo dentist for diagnosis and treatment information.
Most of the methods used to address the issue of TMD are non-surgical. While some dentists and doctors attempt to control the symptoms of this problem through the use of pain medication, this only masks the pain. Treatment is much more effective when the root cause is addressed.
Typically, TMJ disorder treatment will involve the use of things like facial exercises to retrain the jaw muscles and ligaments. Bite splint therapy is another effective treatment option, because it can gradually realign the jaw. This allows your jaw joints to return to the smooth, gliding motion they are meant to have.
Other measures that can relieve symptoms include hot packs, relaxation techniques, and temporarily consuming a softer diet. The important thing is to break the cycle of dysfunction which leads from one symptom to the next. Delaying treatment will only allow the situation to worsen.
Contact Us Today to Talk About TMJ
If you think you may be suffering from a temporomandibular joint disorder, contact our Amarillo dental office today to set up an appointment. Our experienced, friendly staff will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan.