Many people will experience jaw pain from time to time. But what happens when this jaw pain becomes more consistent? Has it been bothering you during work or while you are trying to fall asleep? Or maybe it is causing problems while you are eating or talking to others. If you are suffering from TMJ pain, there is help available!
What is TMJ?
TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the junction where your lower jaw (mandible) connects to your temporal bones on either side of your skull. This connection forms a hinge, allowing your mandible to move. For some individuals, this type of movement can occasionally cause pain. Chronic pain occurring in the area of the joint, with or without movement, is often an indication of a TMJ disorder.
Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder
According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common symptom individuals experience is pain in the jaw and/or the joint itself. Some sufferers also express ear pain and facial pain. Chewing and talking can sometimes prove to be difficult as well. The ongoing occurrence of one or more of these symptoms typically indicates an affliction requiring medical and/or dental intervention.
TMJ Disorder Treatments
Jaw pain can impact an individual’s daily function. Fortunately, there are treatments available that can help to decrease the severity of symptoms as well as prevent the occurrence of ongoing pain. Some treatments can be done on your own, such as taking medicine, using ice/heat, and changing your diet to minimize the intake of crunchy foods. If these methods are unsuccessful in decreasing pain, you may need to see a dentist to learn about more individualized treatments. He or she may then recommend a stronger medication or the use of a night guard (similar in shape to a retainer). Depending on your specific symptoms, dentists may also assess your teeth and jaw alignment.
Here at Exquisite Smiles, we understand that TMJ pain can be an uncomfortable and frustrating experience. If you have tried to manage your TMJ pain without results, we can help! Contact us today and start smiling again!