Suffering from Jaw Pain? TMJ Treatment Can Help!

Many people may be suffering from TMJ dysfunction without knowing it. The symptoms are so varied that people will often discredit their symptoms as something easy and explainable, but it could be something more involved.

What Is TMJ Dysfunction?

On the side of the head, in the position of the angle of the jaw sits the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. Issues with this crucial join are displayed in many different ways. Symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Hearing a buzzing or ringing sound in the ears
  • Face, neck, back and shoulder pain
  • Earaches
  • Audible clicking noise that originates from the jaw
  • Uneven wear of enamel due to teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Vertigo, or dizziness
  • Light sensitivity

The joint can also dislocate and not allow the person to close their mouth properly. This requires immediate medical supervision.

Treatment of TMJ Dysfunction

First, and foremost, a thorough inspection of the join needs to be conducted by your dentist. In addition to digital x-rays, a CT scan may also be done. Once the root of your TMJ issues can be identified, treatment options can be discussed. These include:

  • Medications to tighten lax connective tissue around the jaw joint
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain
  • Crowns to even dental bite
  • Orthodontic correction of misaligned teeth
  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
  • Orthodontic correction

The most common side effect of TMJ disorder and something that is easy to fix is the destructive clenching and grinding that can happen while sleeping. A custom mouthguard is a simple oral appliance that can help many patients overcome the pain they are experiencing. The custom mouthguard helps to cushion the force of your biting, easing pain and stress on the jaw. This helps prevent the teeth from chipping or getting worn down. If you additionally suffer from sleep apnea, a custom mouthguard is also helpful to open the airways properly and alleviate the associated symptoms.