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A Deeper Look Into TMJ
Posted on 1/10/2022 by Dr. Michael Allard
The temporomandibular joint disorder causes discomfort and pain in the joint where the two jaws meet or in the muscles that control your jaw movement. This disorder causes one to experience pain when they yawn, chew, laugh, or sometimes speak. However, other symptoms can help you know if you have a TMJ disorder.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
You might feel pain or discomfort when you open your mouth wide. Most cases of pain come after hard laughter, yawn, or even when eating. This pain might lead to difficulty in opening and closing your mouth. Your jaws might also start to lock when you open and close them. Since the temporomandibular joint is so close to the ear, you might experience ear pains when suffering from TMJ disorder. You might also have a sore jawbone as well as a sore joint. Some people experience a clicking or rubbing sound in their jaws as they move up and down. This sound is caused by the jaws not sitting in their correct position.
Causes Of TMJ Disorder
When the disc made of cartilage in the temporomandibular joint deteriorates, the joint loses its ability to absorb shock. Arthritis is one of the causes of deterioration to this cartilage disc. Grinding teeth is a habit among many people. It also causes TMJ disorder when done over a long period. Clenching the jaw for long periods also has the same effect on the joint. Trauma from airbag protection, fistfights, falls, and other causes of injury cause TMJ disorder in patients even long after the injury occurred.
Treatment of TMJ Disorder
When you come in for treatment, our professionals will first listen to your jaw as it moves up and down to determine the extent of the disorder. This will guide them on the method of treatment to focus on. They will also take an x-ray, MRI, or CT scan to help them diagnose the problem. For disorders that are not too extensive, pain and anti-inflammatory medication should do the trick. Mouthguards and physiotherapy can also help to bring the disorder under control. Contact our offices for more information regarding your dental health.