Temporomandibular joint disorders, or TMJ are problems that affect the jaw. These problems usually manifest as pain or limited movement but can become debilitating if left untreated.
If you have TMJ or any kind of pain in your jaw, you’re in good company. Around 1 in 10 people get it at some time of their lives, with 1 in 20 needing a dentist to help alleviate the problem.
As holistic dentists, Aesthetic Family Dentistry is well placed to help with TMJ. As the symptoms of TMJ can be very similar to other problems, it’s best to consult an expert before undergoing any self-medication or TMJ treatment. We can offer advice and design a treatment strategy that helps.
So What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?
As mentioned, the symptoms of TMJ can be very similar to other conditions so it’s advisable to get a professional diagnosis as soon as possible.
- Pain in the jaw or jaw area
- Reduced movement in the jaw
- Clicks or noises as the jaw moves when talking or chewing
- Teeth grinding
- Sound sensitivity
Pain and TMJ
Unfortunately, the symptoms of Temporomandibular joint disorders can manifest as pain. This can be local to the jaw, the ear or appear as a headache. Sometimes the headaches can be severe enough to imitate a migraine. While over the counter pain medication can provide temporary relief from these symptoms, only effective treatment of the TMJ itself will cure them.
Clicking or Noises and TMJ
Where the jawbone (mandible) meets the skull, cartilage keeps the bones apart. There is also a cartilage disc inside the joint to add cushioning. When these aren’t working properly, the mandible can hit the skull and make the noises. While in itself this isn’t a problem, it isn’t something we would suggest leaving untreated.
Teeth Grinding and Clenching
Another symptom of TMJ is the grinding and/or clenching of teeth. As you probably also know, grinding can be a symptom of many other things including stress. Again, this isn’t harmful in the short term, but has longer-term ramifications as it can wear down teeth and put more pressure on the jaw.
All of these symptoms can be a sign of Temporomandibular joint disorders or TMJ. They can also be signifiers of other issues, which is why it’s important to seek expert advice. As holistic dentists, we can quickly identify the cause of your jaw problems and prescribe a range of remedies for it. Not all of them require dental procedures.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with Aesthetic Family Dentistry today. We’ll put you right.