Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (often known as “TMJ” or “TMD”) is caused by physically overstressing the jaw joint. Although there can be many causes to TMJ, the results are typically very similar, with persistent jaw pain and limited movement. TMJ is a serious dental concern due to both the level of discomfort it can cause and its potential to cause other dental issues.
What Causes TMJ?
Again, TMJ is caused by overstress or pressure on the jaw, and this can be caused by many things. Bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching) is a common culprit; many people grind their teeth in their sleep due to built-up muscle tension, and TMJ can be among the consequences. TMJ can also be caused by an injury such as a blow to the head or dislocation of the jaw joint. Arthritis can also contribute to TMJ, degenerating the joint over time. Even misaligned teeth can create imbalanced pressure points in the mouth that cause TMJ. Whatever the cause, Better Way Dental can help you assess what is causing your TMJ and offer appropriate solutions to ensure your jaw stays healthy.
What Are Symptoms Of TMJ?
Patients typically present more serious symptoms of TMJ over time. Overstressing the jaw originally may only result in mild soreness or discomfort. However, over a course of weeks to months, severe TMJ may cause any combination of the following symptoms:
- Jaw soreness and pain
- Clicking, popping, grinding, or locking jaw while opening and closing mouth
- Neck pain
- Pain while chewing
- Limited jaw movement
- Facial swilling
- Tooth misalignment
How Is TMJ Treated?
Treatment for TMJ typically depends on a case-by-case basis. Some patients experience symptom relief after taking appropriate preventative measures; common examples include patients who wear a nightguard to protect against teeth grinding and patients who use relaxation techniques to de-stress at nighttime. For other patients, persistent pain is often managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Again, treatments for TMJ vary depending on what is causing TMJ. At Better Way Dental, we are well-equipped to identify probable causes of TMJ and connect you with solutions that halt the process and reverse the discomfort.
There’s A Better Way
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment right away by calling (425) 292-9230 or filling out a digital form on our Contact Page. TMJ, if left untreated, can seriously compromise dental health and significantly decrease quality of life. If you think you may have TMJ from stress on the jaw joint, you need a dentist with the expertise to address and care for TMJ. Our Better Way Dental professionals will conduct a comprehensive examination and determine the best treatment plan for your TMJ case.
We proudly serve families in the Snoqualmie, Tokul, and North Bend, WA, areas. We believe in providing our patients the relief and dental solutions they deserve, which is why we offer everything from general dentistry to cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry. We are a one-stop dental office, and our TMJ treatment is some of the best in the area. Come experience dentistry… the Better Way.