Most people have heard about TMJ disorder, commonly simply referred to as TMJ, yet many may not know what it actually is, or even if they have it. TMJ is actually the term for the Temporomandibular Joint, itself. This is the hinge joint that helps to connect the jawbone to the skull. It is meant to move three ways, with ease, up and down, side to side, and forward and back. Unfortunately, when the TMJ has become damaged it can lead to increasing discomfort, pain, excessive wear to the teeth and other problems. If you suspect you could have TMJ disorder, then, it’s important to see your dentist.
There Are Several Warning Signs of TMJ Issues
While TMJ can be difficult to self-diagnose, there are often many warning signs when the TMJ has become damaged. For instance, many people begin to experience discomfort or pain in the jaw, neck, or head. They may also hear popping noises, particularly when they open their mouth, such as while chewing or even yawning. Tenderness along the cheek or jaw is also common, as is ear pain and some facial swelling. Even dizziness can be the result of TMJ pain. TMJ is predicted to affect 1 in 8 Americans, though this number might actually be low, since many cases go undiagnosed.
You Can Likely Enjoy Better Comfort with Treatment
There are a number of potential causes of TMJ pain, including subconscious grinding of the teeth, or clenching the jaw, both of which can lead to TMJ discomfort. Poor tooth alignment can also cause jaw pain. Stress, and some diseases, including arthritis, can also cause problems for the TMJ.
Fortunately, in many cases, a mouthguard can help prevent further grinding of the teeth, while also helping to keep the teeth in a more comfortable and proper alignment, reducing TMJ-related pain.
That said, in severe cases, your dentist might actually recommend orthodontic treatment, like Invisalign, to help realign the teeth.
Concerned You Could Have TMJ?
Dr. Newman can provide treatment for TMJ disorder. You can schedule a consultation, today, by calling Newman Dental at 520-296-5439. Newman Dental is located inside the Grant Road Professional Plaza in Tucson, AZ, and proudly welcome the residents of all surrounding communities.