Temporomandibular Joint Disorder: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments

By January 25, 2016 Blog, TMJ Dentist No Comments

Temporomandibular Joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, allowing you to move your jaw freely so that you can talk, chew and yaw.

TMJ is a condition affecting the chewing muscles and the joints. It’s reported that up to 30% of adults will experience the condition at some point in their lives.

Symptoms

TMJ disorder symtpoms

Credit: Drrobertreed

Often referred to as “myofascial pain disorder,” the condition can cause symptoms that can significantly lower quality of life, and if left untreated can contribute to severe treatment. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Clicking, popping, grating noises while chewing or moving your mouth
  • Muscle pain in your face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders when you chew, speak or open your mouth wide.
  • Discomfort in front of the ear that may spread to the cheek.
  • Difficulty opening mouth as the jaw may feel tight causing difficulty when eating
  • Headache or migraine
  • Buzzing or blocked sensation in the ear
  • Disturbed sleep

Furthermore, you may also have toothaches, dizziness, hearing problem and upper shoulder pain.

Diagnosis

TMJ Dentist

Credit: Dentalways

Once you show signs of Temporomandibular Joint disorder, the dentist checks your jaw points for pain or tenderness while carefully listening for clicks, pops or any grating sounds when you move them. You may also be tested if your jaw doesn’t lock when you open or close your mouth, and if you have problems when biting.

You may also be called in for full face X-rays so that the dentist can view your jaws, temporomandibular joints, and teeth in order to determine other problems. You may be required to go through other tests, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to show if the TMJ disc in the proper position as your jaw moves, followed by a computer tomography (CT) scan to understand the bony details of the joint.

If the case is severe, you may get referred to an oral surgeon for further care and treatment.

Treatments

If you have TMJ, we suggest you see our highly knowledgeable dental professionals at Affordable Dentist in Grand Prairie to discuss the following treatment options that’s suitable for you.

Medications: Certain muscle relaxants can help relax your muscle jaws and alleviate pain associated with TMJ disorders. As chronic TMJ disorder can lead to depression and other psychological problems, it’s advisable to go for antidepressants.

Mouth guards: You may be asked to wear moth guards over your upper and lower set of teeth to prevent them from grinding against each other.

TENS or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation: This involves low level electrical pulses that are delivered to the affected site in order to relax the muscles and alleviate pain.

Laser therapy: To reduce pain and inflammation.

Trigger point injections: Anesthetics that can numb the muscles and decrease the pain.

Surgery: Arthrocentesis may be performed to make way for draining out the damaged tissues from the affected area.

Open joint surgery: The last resort to correct your TMJ disorder.

If you or loved one is in need of instant relief from TMJ disorder, we encourage you to contact our TMJ dentist in Grand Prairie today at 817-200-7086 to book an appointment so that we can work towards improving your condition immediately.

 

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