What is the TMJ and Why Does it Hurt so Much?
While some people refer to their jaw pain as TMJ, that pain, tightness, and damage are really part of a complicated problem called TMJ Disorder. Your TMJ is short for the temporomandibular joint. Surrounding and supporting it is a complex system of muscles and tendons. If this system becomes overloaded, stressed, or damaged, the whole thing can go into spasm leading to TMD – Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.
TMJ Disorder or TMD most often occurs as a result of:
- A bad bite or dysfunction in the way your teeth work together
- Clenching or grinding
- Stressful lifestyles
- Trauma or whiplash
- Poorly balanced restorations
- Missing teeth
or a myriad of other causes. Whatever the cause, TMD most often presents itself in ongoing clenching and grinding, a muscular reaction that can lead to worn-down, broken, or even lost teeth.
TMJ disorder symptoms in Erdenheim can be so strange, so diverse and confusing, that many of our Erdenheim TMJ disorder patients have gone from doctor to doctor trying to find a diagnosis and help, to no avail. If you experience…
- Headaches or migraines
- Stiffness or soreness in the neck, shoulders, and back
- Facial pain
- Jaw pain
- Cracking, grinding, or popping noises in the jaw
- Tingling of the fingertips
- Numbness in your fingers or arms
- Sensitive teeth or loose teeth
- Clenching or grinding
- Ear congestion
- Ringing in the ears
- Limited mouth opening
- Locking jaw or pain when you yawn, laugh, or chew crunchy foods
…please give Chesheim Dental Associates a call.
How We Treat Erdenheim TMJ Disorder
Because each of our Erdenheim TMJ disorder patients has unique issues and experiences, we offer a wide range of treatments. We start by suggesting a vacation for your jaw. Letting your muscles and your joint rest is imperative to healing. We recommend starting with:
- NSAIDs to reduce inflammation and offer temporary relief
- Heat therapy
- A soft diet, no gum chewing, and no nail biting or other stressors on your jaw
For some patients who have not experienced extensive damage from TMD, that can be enough to stop the cycle and offer lasting relief. For others, we may also offer:
- A custom-fitted and -created occlusal guard or deprogrammer– these guards offer amazing relaxation and relief while also protecting your teeth from the damages of clenching and grinding
- Physical therapy
No matter how long you have suffered from TMJ disorder pain, we can help with a customized treatment plan just for you, our valued and precious Erdenheim friends and neighbors!