Do you wake up in the morning with discomfort in your jaw? Do you suffer from frequent headaches? What about ear popping? Has chewing become difficult, because of tightness as you open your mouth? Did you know these are all common warning signs of TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, as dentists call it. This is a condition that can be caused by subconscious grinding of the teeth, a misaligned smile, or even stress. Fortunately, in many cases dentists can provide minimally invasive TMJ treatment that could help you start smiling again, without fear of jaw pain.
What Are the Warning Signs?
Tenderness or pain is one of the most common warning signs of TMJ. However, many patients often complain of ringing or popping sensations in their ears, neck pain or headaches, problems chewing, smiling or pain yawning.
How Can a Dentist Help
The best treatment for TMJ is dependent upon the cause of the issue. In some cases medical treatment may be necessary, for instance in the case of arthritis or injury. However, in many instances, dentists are able to use a simple treatment like a mouthguard to help the jaw rest in a more comfortable position, particularly at night, as one sleeps. When alignment problems are to blame, it could be that orthodontic or restorative dental treatment, such as tooth replacement, is the best option.
A skilled dentist that specializes in TMJ treatment should be able to help determine the cause of your discomfort and to create a customized treatment plan for you.