Dentists can do so much more than ensuring your teeth are healthy and shiny. At Shallowford Family Dental Group, we are also trained and experienced in addressing oral-related problems, such as pain in the joints and bones in your jaw. We may also help relieve you of discomfort brought about by frequent headaches as well as pain in your temple and neck. This can be done through our TMJ Treatment.
What Is TMJ Treatment, and What Is It for?
Stress, lack of sleep, and fatigue are the most common causes of headaches. With that said, you can also get that dull, pounding pain from problems in your temporomandibular joint.
Also called TMJ, this is the joint connecting your jawbone to your skull. It acts like a sliding hinge that lets you open your mouth to speak or eat without difficulty.
However, there are times when this joint fails to function properly. Called temporomandibular disorder or TMD, this makes it hard for you to yawn, chew, bite, laugh, or talk. It also causes pain in the muscles controlling your jaw movement as well as your head, temples, and neck.
If you have been experiencing chronic pain due to TMD, seeking TMJ treatment will help get rid of the pain and discomfort. Seeking this care option, taking medications, and undergoing therapies all work to reduce TMD symptoms while addressing its causes simultaneously.
What are the Causes of TMD?
It can be quite hard to determine the exact cause behind TMD. There are usually various factors at play when it comes to disorders in the temporomandibular joint, so it is not easy to pinpoint one single cause precisely.
Nevertheless, here are three of the most common causes that are linked to TMJ pain and discomfort.
1. Excessive Grinding of Teeth
Also called bruxism, this is a condition wherein you may be unconsciously clenching or gnashing your teeth when you are awake or asleep. When the lower and upper jaws are clenched tightly together, the TMJ and the surrounding facial muscles receive a lot of tension and pressure. This ultimately leads to TMD.
2. Stress and Anxiety
Excessive grinding of teeth can also be caused by stress and anxiety. If you have been constantly stressed and anxious, you may be clenching your teeth and muscles too hard without knowing it. This increases your risks of developing temporomandibular disorder.
3. Jaw Injury
Serious trauma to the jaw and its muscles is the leading cause of TMJ injury. Blows to the jaw joint in car accidents, falls, or punches can dislocate it and cause severe pain.
When Should You Seek TMJ Treatment?
If you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, it is best to see your trusted dentist as soon as possible:
- Pain when biting, chewing, laughing, or yawning
- Noises when moving your jaw up and down
- Swelling, pain, and/or tenderness in your cheeks
- Pain or tingling feeling in your ears
- Jaw getting stuck or “locked” in the open mouth position
- Facial pain
Your dentist will examine the mobility of your upper and lower jaw and identify problems linked to them. Once they understand your condition, they will design a treatment plan to help you address your pain promptly.
Not all headaches are caused by fatigue or lack of sleep. In some cases, they can also be caused by problems in your jaw joint. If your dentist finds out that you indeed have a TMD, they will work with you to address the root of the problem and relieve your pain. As long as you diligently follow your dentist’s instructions, you can get back to enjoying your food and having a good laugh with your loved ones in no time.
If you are looking for a seasoned family dentist in Chattanooga, TN, we’re the ones to call! We are committed to providing you and your loved ones with the highest quality of dental care in our state-of-the-art facility. Visit our website today to schedule an appointment!