Symptoms of TMJ disorder, which is a collection of issues that can develop in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ – otherwise known as your jaw), can have a significant negative impact on a patient’s quality of life and well-being.
Some patients may want to practice patience and see if they can wait out their TMJ disorder. While it is possible for TMJ disorder symptoms to resolve on their own, it’s still wise to visit your family dentist for an evaluation to determine the cause.
Getting effective TMJ disorder treatment can help to eliminate your symptoms more effectively and efficiently and get you back into your routine.
Signs And Symptoms Of TMJ Disorder
Knowing the signs and symptoms of this condition can be helpful in considering how to proceed in pursuing TMJ disorder treatment. They include:
- Pain in the jaw, which may radiate toward the ear or the neck or elsewhere in the face
- Noticeable effects of tooth grinding (such as wear and tear on the teeth)
- Locking of the jaw
- Clicking or popping sounds when the jaw opens or closes
- Difficulty chewing.
If you’ve noticed symptoms of TMJ disorder, you should schedule an appointment with your family dentist for further evaluation.
Getting Evaluated For TMJ Disorder
Because the jaw joint is so complex and multiple factors can contribute to TMJ disorders, a dentist’s evaluation can determine the specific cause and point toward a particular TMJ disorder treatment.
This initial evaluation does not involve any invasive measures. Instead, your dentist may:
- Visually examine your smile
- Take x-rays or other internal imaging
- Take photographs of your smile
The data gathered at this consultation will then be used to inform the treatment plan.
Treatment Options For TMJ Disorder
Based on the results of the evaluation, your dentist may recommend one of the following interventions:
- Self-care exercises and massage
- Stress management techniques
- Oral appliance therapy
- Surgery – note that this is rare and typically only considered when the patient hasn’t gotten relief from other treatment attempts
Unless there is an obvious underlying cause of your TMJ disorder that indicates a more advanced intervention, your dentist is likely to start with a conservative treatment approach and see how your symptoms respond to that.
Yes, TMJ disorder symptoms can go away spontaneously, but why wait – who knows how long – for that to happen? Visit DeSanti Family Dentistry for a consultation, and you may get relief much more quickly!