What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, which is more commonly referred to as the jaw joint. Each jaw joint is found below your temples in front of your ears and is the connecting joint between the jaw and skull. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) has an array of symptoms associated with it and although general physicians can recognize TMD, our neuromuscular dentist can provide the most applicable treatment.
What are TMJ symptoms?
- Headaches and migraines
- Decreased mobility of the jaw
- Inability to fully open mouth
- Popping, clicking of the locking of the jaw joint
- Soreness of the jaw, neck and facial muscles
- Dental attrition
What causes TMJ?
The causes of TMJ disorder can be as simple as stress and bruxism (nightly teeth grinding) or the result of a trauma or injury. Even misaligned teeth can be a potential cause of TMD as it can increase dental attrition and the tenderness of facial muscles. Oral habits like excessive nail biting and gum chewing can also be a factor in the formation of TMJ.
How can a cosmetic dentist help with TMJ symptoms?
For those who have misaligned teeth, a skilled cosmetic dentist can provide the necessary treatment for a bad bite or malocclusion. During a consultation with our dentist, we will be able to recommend the treatment most suitable for your TMJ needs.
How can I get relief from the pain of these symptoms?
Pain relieving exercises for TMJ include:
- Moist heat, most commonly used in a heat pack wrapped in a damp towel
- Ice packs, used for no more than 15 minutes in one sitting
- Choosing softer foods that are easy to chew
- Avoiding foods that require a wide, open bite, such as an apple of cheeseburger
- Relaxation and slow breathing techniques
- A TENS unit, located at the office of Michael E. Kun, which provides electrical stimulation to your face and head