Could Your Mouth Pain Be Caused by TMJ Disorder?

Temporomandibular joints in your jaw allow you to perform everyday functions such as chewing, swallowing, and speaking. They sit close to the front of your ears and connect your skull and lower jaw together. Most people don’t think about these automatic functions until it becomes painful to perform them. This could indicate temporomandibular joint disorder, more commonly known as TMJ. Typical symptoms include:
  • The disc between the joint and its socket slips out of place
  • Grinding and clenching of teeth
  • Unrelenting stress
  • Arthritis
  • Trauma to the teeth or mouth
  • Disc connecting the sockets and joints of the jaw slip out of position

Recognizing TMJ

Jaw pain doesn’t always mean you have TMJ, so you may ignore the problem hoping it will improve. In addition to pain, we encourage you to contact us at our South Attleboro, MA office if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Facial swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Popping or clicking sounds

TMJ Treatment

Dr. James Phelan always attempts the most conservative approach to treatment first. He will likely provide you with a splint to wear several of your waking hours and a night guard to use while sleeping. These devices prevent grinding and clenching of the teeth. He will also examine your mouth to see if another dental issue is causing your TMJ disorder.

Home remedies are often helpful for TMJ as well. Some of these include applying an ice pack, not chewing on hard foods, and using non-prescription pain relievers as needed. Dr. Phelan will continue working with you until your pain resolves. It’s only when splints, night guards, and home remedies fail to provide relief that he considers oral surgery.


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