TMJ, which is professionally referred to as temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder, is a condition that causes patients to feel chronic pain and dysfunction in their jaw joint. Although few are aware of this diagnosis, it affects 12% of the population and is second only to back pain in musculoskeletal pain and disability. While the symptoms of this condition are unpleasant, the good news is that powerful, effective, long-lasting relief is available through TMJ therapy! Read on for information on common causes, risk factors, and how your dentist can help.
3 Common Causes of TMJ
While some patients report overnight symptoms, others experience years of a gradual increase in their pain and discomfort. Although seeking your dentist’s help with treatment is priority number one, being aware of the triggers can provide you some insight until your appointment. Here are the three common causes of TMJ:
- The discs that are responsible for connecting your jaw and your skull erode or are misaligned.
- The cartilage around the joint is damaged, which can be a result of arthritis.
- The joint itself is injured from sustaining an immense impact, like a car crash or accidental elbow to your jaw.
5 Risk Factors Every Patient Should Know
The risk factors of TMJ can be placed into two categories: internal and external. Fortunately, these behaviors, medical conditions, and habits can allow your dentist to intervene and provide the long-lasting relief you are looking for. Therefore, they will consider if you:
- Have certain types of arthritis, like rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
- Recently sustained a jaw injury.
- Chronically grind or clench your teeth.
- Have connective tissue diseases.
- Maintain poor posture (which can lead to an abnormal pressure on the jaw).
Finding Powerful, Effective Relief
To start treatment, it is of the utmost importance that you speak with an expert on jaw disorders to confirm the diagnosis. During your exam, they may feel around your jaw, monitor your range of motion, and conduct a few X-rays. Depending on how severe the symptoms are, your dentist may recommend:
- Medical approaches, like muscle relaxers.
- Dental interventions, like oral splints or mouthguards.
- Surgical procedures, like arthrocentesis or a TMJ arthroscopy.
If you find yourself in constant discomfort stemming from your jaw, then it is time to seek care! After just a few visits, you can get the treatment you need to enjoy a pain-free smile, restful nights, and full range of motion!
About the Practice
Led by the dynamic father-son duo of Dr. Franklin Boyles and Dr. Stephen Boyles, the team at Boyles General Dentistry is united by their mission to deliver an exemplary experience based around one thing: you! That is why they don’t have dental hygienists on staff or rely on dental labs. Instead, they focus on exemplary one-on-one care that allows you to get the effective treatment you need without compromising a trusting relationship. If you would like to speak with their team about undergoing TMJ treatment, please visit their website or give them a call at 432-366-0896.