Getting Help in TMJ by your Dentist

A lot of people may have heard about TMJ/TMD or, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, but not many people know what this problem actually is. Even the ones who know what this problem is all about usually fail to identify its symptoms because consequences of this problem can create great amount of confusion. Nevertheless, you can visit your dentist or doctor to identify symptoms and get treated.

What is TMJ disorder?

The lower jaw is connected with the remaining skull with the help of a ‘hinge’ like joint. This joint is known as TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint. The function of this joint is so versatile that it allows lower jaw to move not only in the upward and downward movement but it also allows sideways movement. The problem with this joint can result in disrupted jaw movement, leading to the discomfort and lack of functionality in the mouth movement. This problem is mostly referred to as TMD, or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.

The symptoms of TMD

As mentioned above, you might not be able to figure out always if the pain you are having is actually related to Temporomandibular Joint. The symptoms are quite confusing. You may start thinking of your headache or facial pain as something related to your sinuses. But this disorder can actually be related to TMJ. Having that said, there are a few things you can look at in order to truly identify the nature and origin of pain. Some of the common symptoms of TMJ are as under.

  • Facial pain, jaw joint pain, and pain around your neck and shoulder can actually be related to your Temporomandibular Joints. Pain in and around the ear while chewing can also point at this disorder.
  • When you have TMD, you may find it pretty difficult to wide open your mouth. You might feel your jaw getting stuck in a particular position while opening or closing your mouth. This condition of jaw getting stuck may or may not be painful but it’s definitely irritating.
  • Clicking, popping and grinding sounds coming from your jaw may also be related to the TMJ problem.
  • Sometimes, you may feel sudden pain while chewing. If the problem gets worse, it can make the face to swell.
  • Toothache, headache, dizziness, neck pain, and ringing ears can also be the signs of TMD.

Getting the problem diagnosed and treated

Like any other medical condition, TMD is identifiable through the symptoms. However, it requires special expertise to identify TMJ through symptoms because symptoms can be confusing. The first thing you will need to consider here is to get dental appointment.

During dental exam, certain measures such x-rays and dental impressions can help a dentist identify your problem accurately.

As soon as the problem is identified, dentist would start its treatment. The treatment may involve regular therapies, or it can involve surgery if the problem has got worse. You will also be given proper instructions to follow at home. These instructions mainly include facial and jaw movement exercises, and diet.