All You Need to Know About TMJ Disorder

All You Need to Know About TMJ Disorder

July 1, 2020

TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint. This joint connects your jaw to the skull and facilitates the movement you make with your jaw. Without the TMJ, normal functions such as speaking, chewing, and yawning would not be possible.

When you experience discomfort or pain while performing the functions mentioned above, you are said to have a TMJ disorder abbreviated as TMD. In case your neck or head is injured during an accident or maybe an assault, you should visit a dentist near you for an examination.

Apart from injury, dentists in Pleasant Hill CA have identified the following factors as catalysts which increase the likelihood of you getting the disorder:

  • Infections
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Stress
  • Arthritis
  • Constantly grinding your teeth over time
  • Dental surgery

How to Maintain Your Oral Health with TMJ Disorder

Practicing basic oral hygiene may prove to be hectic when you have TMD. This is because of the excruciating pain you feel when you open your mouth. This makes oral practices like brushing and flossing of teeth very uncomfortable.

Our dentist at Grafton Dental recommends the following tips to ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy:

  • Use an antiseptic mouth rinse
  • Consult with your doctor to identify new ways of removing plaque
  • Use a sonic or soft-bristle toothbrush
  • During a dental procedure, speak out in case you feel pain or discomfort
  • Use water flosser in case you are unable to open your mouth to floss.

Symptoms of TMD

The following are symptoms of TMJ disorder as noted by Lafayette TMJ dentists:

  • Pain or difficulty in chewing
  • Tender or painful jaw
  • A difficulty that may be accompanied by pain in your ears, neck or jaw when you try opening your mouth wide
  • In case you suddenly feel that teeth on your upper jaw do not fit well with the teeth on your lower jaw
  • You may experience a popping sound in your jaw when you open your mouth
  • Swelling on your face
  • Lockjaw
  • Feeling constantly exhausted in your face
  • In case you experience pain on either one or both of your temporomandibular joints

There are cases where the symptoms wear off without treatment. Dentist in Pleasant Hill CA recommends you book an appointment with a TMJ expert, doctor, or dentist if you are completely unable to open your mouth or the pain persists.

After examining your jaw, your dentist will conduct more detailed tests like taking an X-ray if he suspects something is wrong. With this information, he will provide you with the necessary TMJ disorder treatment.

Treatment for TMJ Disorder

The following are options for TMJ disorder treatment:

  1. Surgery or other procedures

    These include; modified condylotomy, injection, arthrocentesis, open-joint surgery, and TMJ arthroscopy. Surgery is recommended in cases where your joint has an issue. In case your TMJ is severely damaged, your dentist is likely going to recommend you replace it.

  2. Medication

    The following medication options may assist in relieving TMJ pain:

    • Tricyclic antidepressant
    • Muscle relaxants
    • Anti-inflammatory and pain relievers
  3. Home remedies and lifestyle

    TMJ treatment is commonly done at home. It is possible to reduce the symptoms following tips:

    • Stretching and massaging your jaw
    • Do not ‘overuse’ your jaw muscles
    • Place ice packs or a moist warm towel above (Not directly on) the aching surface.
    • Do not bite your nails
    • Take soft food until you TMD heals
    • Maintain a good posture
  4. Treating existing conditions

    There are cases where TMD wears without any medical treatment. In Pleasant Hill, dentists may recommend some exercises that help treat the temporomandibular joint disorder. These exercises are claimed to have the following benefits:

    • Help to relax your jaw
    • Reduce clicking of your jaw
    • Promote the healing of your jaw
    • Stretch your jaw
    • Strengthen the muscles of your jaw
    • Increase the mobility of your jaw

    These exercises are:

    • Chin tucks
    • Resisted mouth opening
    • Resisted mouth closing
    • Relaxed jaw exercise
    • Goldfish exercise (full opening)
    • Goldfish exercise (partial opening)
    • Side to side jaw movement
    • Tongue up
    • Forward movement of your jaw

When you decide to do the exercises, you should start at a slow pace. As you progress, your TMJ pain will become more bearable and finally wears off. Visit us today at Grafton Dental for the best TMJ treatment in Pleasant Hill.