TMJ affects thousands of people daily, yet not many realize their family dentist can help provide TMJ relief. Dentists commonly work with clients suffering from jaw pain related to TMJ disorders.
Together, we will explore everything there is to know about TMJ and how dentists help alleviate the painful symptoms that cause so much grief.
What is TMJ?
TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, relates to the joints where the mandible connects to the skull. Chronic facial pain originating from the connective joints, tissues, and muscles causes great discomfort, often leaving the sufferer unable to chew correctly or find relief.
Common causes of TMJ include jaw injuries and misalignment from clenching or teeth grinding. As a result, the affected area becomes overworked or can even create a popping sound, leaving a constant ache around the temple area.
What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?
People don’t always contribute their pain to TMJ. Sometimes, they believe they have a tension headache and take over-the-counter medication for relief.
So, how do you know if you have TMJ? Here are the usual symptoms:
- Facial Pain
- Tender and Painful Jaw
- Trouble Chewing
- Locked Jaw
- Muscle Spasms
- Discomfort Around the Temporomandibular Joint
- Restricted Jaw Movement
- Popping Sounds When Chewing
These symptoms can lead to sleeping issues, trouble concentrating, and eating healthy solid foods. If left untreated, TMJ disorders can deteriorate a person’s quality of life.
How Can a Dentist Help With TMJ?
As TMJ can be both a medical and dental problem, finding the source of the issue is the first step to getting the proper care. You will need medical attention if you have suffered a jaw injury, such as an impact or accident.
However, if your TMJ results from ongoing teeth grinding or a misaligned dental bite, then you need the assistance of your dentist. They can take an imprint of your teeth to determine how your bottom teeth fit with your top and assess how your jaw sits. Your dentist can also take x-rays for an in-depth look at your joints.
Then, your dentist may suggest a custom mouth guard to help prevent grinding in your sleep and keep your jaw aligned with your top teeth. Furthermore, they can suggest other dental appliances and techniques to help alleviate your pain.
Can TMJ be Prevented?
When you consider that the cause of teeth grinding is often stress and anxiety, it makes sense that TMJ prevention is possible with the right self-care plan. However, daily life comes with varying stress levels, and how well we handle it comes down to selecting healthier environments and your wellness.
Some proven stress management techniques are:
- Exercise – Walking, yoga, pilates, gym workouts, or stretching can help release pent-up tension and increase endorphins.
- Fresh Air – Finding space where you can breathe fresh air and enjoy nature naturally increases oxygen in the brain and serotonin levels— a neurotransmitter responsible for boosting your mood.
- Meditation – Giving yourself even fifteen minutes a day to settle down away from distractions and external stresses allow your nervous system to regulate. Over time, it retrains your body to react differently and reduces anxiety.
- Hobbies – Rediscover passion projects like painting, dancing, or flower arranging.
- Healthcare – See your doctor or dentist when you notice changes in your health before they develop into more significant problems.
Correct Your TMJ Symptoms and Find Relief
Don’t let TMJ take over and derail your life. With the professional services at Dentistry at Consilium in Scarborough, ON., you can get help for painful symptoms and find the TMJ relief you deserve.
Say goodbye to your jaw pain today! Schedule your appointment online or by calling 416-296-1080 now.