Temporomandibular Joint disorder (TMJ or TMD) is a problem which is estimated to affect approximately 30% of adults over the course of their lifetime. Although it affects a large number of people worldwide, it is often under recognized, and few people take the necessary steps that they need to do, in order to protect themselves from the effects that TMJ can cause.
What is TMJ?
TMJ (which is alternatively known by the name “myofascial pain disorder”) is a condition which affects the joints between the lower jaw and the skull.
In most people the symptoms are not serious, and the sufferer will recover within a few months, however the symptoms can significantly decrease the quality of life of the sufferer.
In these cases, it is essential that the sufferer obtains specialist treatment from a dentist, so that they can continue to live their life to the fullest. Contact New Image Dental for specialist consultation.
Symptoms of TMJ include; popping, grating or clicking noises when the jaw is moved; tension in the jaw; muscular pain around the jaw; pain in front of the ear which spreads across the temple and cheeks; earache; and increased incidents of headaches and migraines.
In some extreme cases, the pain may even spread to other areas of the body, such as the neck, shoulders or back.
Amongst other things, MJ may be caused by an uneven bite; an injury to the jaw joint; wear and tear on the jaw; or as a result of clenching your teeth whilst you sleep.
How is TMJ treated?
You need to speak to a New Image Dental specialist if you think that you have been experiencing TMJ. A dentist will suggest certain lifestyle changes to you, or alternatively, they may be able to suggest invasive surgical treatments.
Lifestyle changes can include altering the types of food that you eat, and avoiding stretching your jaw by not opening your mouth as wide.
Your Los Angeles dentist may also be able to give you a mouth guard to help to protect your jaw, if you inadvertently grind your teeth whilst you are asleep.
Surgical options from your dentist can help to clean out the joint or grind sections away if that is the root cause of the issue.