Your jaw joint and the muscles controlling the jaw are susceptible to temporomandibular joint disorders. Diagnosing the problem with TMJ disorders as they are also known as and treating them is challenging because of the complexity of the joint.
Approximately 12 percent of the population in the United States experience TMJ disorders at any given time. Women are more prone to TMJ disorders than men, with almost nine women experiencing restricted jaw movement and pain compared to one man. Patients and doctors alike need to understand the causes and symptoms of the disorder and treatment options that are available to treat this condition.
The temporomandibular joint, commonly referred to as the TMJ has its location at the base of the skull. This joint allows movement of the jaw when chewing and talking. The joint is connected to the mandible, which is the lower jaw and the temporal bone on the side of the skull. As the TMJ joint allows for movement both side-to-side as well as up and down, it is a complicated joint in the body. Therefore it can create severe TMJ disorders that are difficult to treat effectively.
Conditions that specifically affect the TMJ are known as TMJ disorders. The disorder has different symptoms causing varying degrees of discomfort. When patients book an appointment with a dentist for a diagnosis of the persistent pain around the jaw and restricted movement, the dental professional diagnosis the disorder based on various symptoms. TMJ disorders can resolve by themselves within a couple of months, but some cases may be ongoing or recurrent.
Different causes exist for TMJ disorders, some of which are the following:
Grinding or clenching of the teeth when sleeping.
Arthritis, autoimmune diseases, dental surgery, infections, and physical injury are also possible reasons for this condition. Other causes can be genetic, environmental, or hormonal. As women experience TMJ disorders more frequently than men, researchers are considering looking at the hormonal issues for this condition. Among men and women, violinists have a higher rate of being affected by TMJ disorders because they are continually holding the instrument under the jaw.
Patients affected by this condition experiences various symptoms. The most apparent sign is pain felt when moving the jaw, but affected patients may also experience headaches, backaches, neck aches, and earaches, including migraines.
If the pain being experienced is not near the jaw, the dentist near you often looks for other symptoms before diagnosing the TMJ disorder.
Another common but painless symptom is popping, clicking, and grinding noises that occur when opening the mouth, eating, and talking. Buzzing, ringing, or numbness in the ears, along with earaches, are symptoms that are associated with TMJ disorders.
TMJ disorders can successfully be treated with at-home remedies by people. Lifestyle and self-care changes are sufficient to manage mild to moderate symptoms of TMJ disorders. However, if pre-existing conditions cause the disease, specific TMJ treatment options are available.
Patients contacting dentist Longmont, CO, for a remedy are recommended self-care treatments to reduce movement of the jaw. The dentist also suggests having soft foods, staying away from chewing gum, and avoiding clenching and grinding of the teeth. Gentle exercises are also recommended by the Longmont dentist to stretch the jaw and massage the affected muscles around it. Gentle exercises besides rest are also recommended besides other lifestyle changes that help to ease TMJ disorder symptoms. Instances, where the TMJ disorder is caused by teeth grinding or clenching, will receive help from the Longmont dentist who will provide them with a mouthguard whenever appropriate.
If degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis cause the disorder, doctors may use steroid injections as a recommended TMJ treatment option. The shots can resolve the symptoms of TMJ disorders permanently, but in some cases, it may just be a temporary remedy. Short-term over-the-counter pain medications can also provide relief from the discomfort to patients.
TMJ disorders are often not severe and will disappear within a couple of months. The symptoms are mild and will only cause minimal inconvenience. However, in some cases, the disorders can be severe and lower the quality of life of the patient, making a diagnosis and TMJ treatment essential for treating the condition.