Living with TMJ

Troy Dentist

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is responsible for acting as the hinge that connects the jaw to the skull and controls facial movement. However, sometimes this hinge can act up and cause health problems for its owner. TMJ disorder is a condition that negatively affects the facial areas controlling jaw movement.

Depending on the patient’s unique circumstances, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of their TMJ disorder. There are many factors that can cause or exacerbatethis condition. For example, if you have recently sustained an injury to the face, specifically to your jaw joint, you may be at a higher risk for developing a TMJ disorder.

Other causes of TMJ disorders include chronic teeth grinding andarthritis. Specifically, if you have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the temporomandibular joint, you may be at a higher risk for a TMJ disorder.

There are many symptoms that determine a TMJ disorder diagnosis, which are listed below.

  • Tinnitus
  • Headaches
  • Toothaches
  • Neck aches
  • Clicking jaw joint
  • Tenderness or pain in the facial area

Most of our patients with TMJ are still able to lead productive lives and have found ways to keep their symptoms under control. Below, we have listed our recommendations for our patients with TMJ disorders.

  • Prevent teeth grinding by wearing a mouth guard when you sleep.
  • Use muscle relaxants to calm jaw muscles.
  • Decrease inflammation with low-level laser therapy.

In general, most of our patients with TMJ disorders are able to manage their symptoms and enjoy a good quality of life. If you find that your symptoms are severe or are progressively getting worse over time, it may be worth consulting your primary physician to determine if surgery would be an appropriate course of action.

While surgery is a drastic alternative to the recommendations we have provided in this guide, some patients experience a relief from symptoms after surgical intervention. It should be noted that surgical treatment should be regarded only as a last resort if you don’t experience a lightening in your symptoms through other pain managing tactics.

If you would like to learn more about your TMJ disorder diagnosis, or have any other questions relating to your oral health, don’t hesitate to call our Troy dental office at (248) 528-2270. Our dentists and highly trained staff are always happy to help patients maintain a healthy lifestyle.