Ever feel jaw pain that makes talking difficult or cumbersome? It’s likely that this pain was in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the large joint that controls movement of your jaw. When patients get disorders associated with their TMJ, it can interfere with speaking and chewing and can be quite debilitating. Visiting a TMJ dentist like West Lakes Dentistry in Mound or Chaska, MN can be a great way to discover treatment options to improve the function of your jaw.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
Impacts to the teeth or jaw area are some of the most obvious injuries that can result in a TMJ disorder. Dental problems such as misalignment of the teeth can also bring about a disorder associated with the jaw. Certain conditions like arthritis can also cause or exacerbate problems with the joint.
Behaviors That May Cause TMJ Disorders
Some of causes of these problems are brought about by the patient’s own actions. Patients who experience high levels of stress are much more likely to experience these disorders. Bruxism, or the condition where patients grind their teeth is another major cause. Even poor posture is a cause that makes patients who work in office jobs more susceptible.
Exploring The Signs & Symptoms
The temporomandibular joint has the responsibility of securing the jaw to your skull in addition to allowing actions like eating and speaking. This makes the joint an extremely important part of your body. Some of the signs that you may suffer from a TMJ disorder include:
- Jaw popping or clicking
- Sore jaw muscles
- Pain or popping in the ear
- Acute pain in the temple
- Stiff or locking jaw muscles
TMJ Treatment Options
Since these disorders can include a wide range of conditions that affect your joint, treatments vary greatly. While some cases, the disorder can be fixed with an ice pack and over-the-counter medication, while others may require more extensive treatment such as Botox or surgery. Many times an occlusal guard is recommended.
Treatment At Home
Many home treatments can be effective at treating mild TMJ disorders. Ice packs are the most basic treatment that can be applied from home. For an over-the-counter solution, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) from your nearest drug store can do a lot to provide relief for your TMJ. Since these disorders are often brought on by times of high stress, reducing stress can also help your condition subside.
Visiting A TMJ Dentist
Severe issues may require treatment from your family dentist. Depending on the type and severity of your symptoms, these professional treatments can include any of the following:
- Botox to relieve your TMJ pain and swelling
- Dental splints or occlusal guard
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy
Make An Appointment Today
At West Lakes Family Dental, we always prefer the least invasive form of treatment. Plus, we’ll let you know what all of your options are, so you can take charge of your own oral health. Nobody wants to deal with a TMJ disorder, but when they happen, we aim to appropriately diagnosis and provide treatment recommendations to get you out of pain.
Make an appointment with West Lakes Family Dental in Mound or Chaska, MN today.