The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the joint that connects your upper and lower jaw. Located in front of each ear, the TMJ is flexible, allowing you to open and close your mouth. However, this joint has to withstand a lot of force every day, so it can become painful over time.
The TMJ consists of two joints: one connects the mandible to the temporal bone, which is the bone that surrounds the ear, and the other connects the temporal bone to the condyle of the mandible.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder, also known as TMD, is an umbrella term that refers to anything that affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), also known as the jaw joint. The TMJ connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bones of the skull.
The TMJ is responsible for opening and closing the mouth, making chewing, biting, and speaking possible. When the TMJ is injured or misaligned, it can cause a variety of complications, including headaches, jaw pain, ear pain, and difficulty moving the jaw.
Symptoms Of TMJ disorder.
- Facial pain
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty chewing
- Clicking sound when opening and closing the mouth
- Jaw locking or not being able to open your mouth fully
- Jaw soreness
- Limited jaw mobility
- Clicking or popping when chewing or biting down
Treatments For TMJ disorder.
TMJ disorder doesn't have a one-size-fits-all treatment as the suggested treatment will be based on the underlying cause. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen or muscle relaxers can be a temporary solution to ease the pain. However, they do not offer long-term solutions.
There are different types of TMJ disorder that may require different treatments. If your TMJ disorder is severe, we may prescribe dental appliances such as a night guard or splint, or surgery. A night guard is worn at night to reposition the jaw, and splints are worn over the teeth like a mouth guard.
The other treatments for TMJ disorder include the following:
- Regular massages
- Breathing exercises and Yoga
- Behavior modification strategies
- Jaw exercises
- Injections to the trigger points in the jaw and neck muscles
- Medications for relaxation or decreasing inflammation
If your TMJ disorder is mild, we may recommend self-care methods such as over-the-counter pain medication and massage.
At Greenwell Springs Family Dentistry, we offer high-quality dental care using state-of-the-art dental technologies. To learn more about our dental services, call Dentist in Greenwell Springs, LA at (225) 261-0043 or visit our dental office located at 14127 Greenwell Springs Road, Greenwell Springs.