TMJ problems disrupt day-to-day life with unnecessary headaches and other symptoms.
TMJ pain too often threatens daily joy while making pleasurable activities a sport of avoiding aggravating the symptoms or not doing things you enjoy at all.
Rather than trying to avoid TMJ symptoms or avoiding them by avoiding things you like to do, explore treatments for TMJ that provide pain relief and back to good health.
What are TMJ Disorders?
TMJ disorders, or dysfunctions, are conditions where the jaw joints surrounding muscles, and ligaments are affected. The group of dysfunctions causes jaw pain to the point where it may be difficult to open or close your mouth, headaches, and other symptoms. While most people call these disorders TMJ, it’s actually TMD, and TMJ is the joints affected by the joint disorder. While TMD, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, is medically accurate, we’ll continue using TMJ as that’s what most patients refer to these disorders as.
There is no single cause of TMJ or TMD, but a combination of factors that lead to its development:
- Arthritis in the jaw joint
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Jaw injuries
- Malocclusion (the teeth not fitting together as they should)
There are also lifestyle choices and habits that can contribute to TMJ disorders, including:
- Using your teeth as tools, like tearing off a clothing tag
- Putting too much pressure on your neck, shoulder, and facial muscles
- Chewing on pens, pencils, and other nervous habit
- Teeth clenching or grinding at night or during the day
- Chewing on ice
Types of TMJ Disorders
Not all TMJ disorders, or TMDs, are the same. Healthcare providers classify them into three categories that better help them to understand the factors that caused it and the right treatment for you:
- Disorders of the jaw joints
- Disorders of the chewing muscles
- Headaches that are a result of TMJ/TMD
Symptoms of TMJ
The symptoms of TMJ disorder can be experienced different in people but typically include:
- Jaw pain
- Limited jaw opening
- Shoulder or neck pain
- Stiffness in the jaw
- Facial pain
- Jaw popping or clicking
TMJ treatments depend on the underlying cause and the level of pain you’re experiencing, Typically, noninvasive treatment options are considered before surgical ones which include:
- Pain relievers
- NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen
- Muscle relaxers to help with teeth clenching or grinding and muscle pain
- Night guards
- Mouth guards with customized design for the TMJ disorder
- Trigger point injections to ease pain in muscle knots in the jaw
- Physical therapy to help stretch the jaw and strengthen the muscles around jaw joints
If nonsurgical methods don’t provide jaw pain relief or treat TMJ, then surgery may be recommended:
- TMJ arthroscopy
- Open-joint surgery.
Pain Relief through TMJ Treatment
If you’re searching for a dentist in Bellevue to help with your TMJ disorders and problems related to your bite, look no further than the team at Bellevue Dentist.
Dr. Siamak Najafi is an accomplished dentist and a prosthodontist who has trained with the world’s leading dental pioneers. Being a prosthodontistist, he will take you throught different diagnostic tests and bite evaluaations, to determine the exact issue with the bite or TMJ and can plan out a treatment for you to treat the disorder.
Dr. Don Jayne is a nationally recognized leader in dentistry. He focuses on providing unparalleled expertise in cosmetic, general, implant, and sedation dentistry. He is dedicated to providing you with the most advanced techniques and effective technology available in dental care.
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